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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    August 31, 2012
    10:30 - 6:00am EDT  

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most restrictive kind. it even threatens medicare. it, the platform threatens medicaid particularly gi -- by devolving it to the states. all these things that black americans and white americans know as essential to their lives. i can't tell you what that new conservativism would look like, but it would look closer to something that romney had done as governor than what is going nonthe platform today. >> before i get to elroy, does anybody up here have any part of the republican platform or romney's ideas that you think would have resonance in the african-american community? >> prosperity and greatness. >> since elroy is outnumbered, i'm trying to set him up here. i'm going to give him a chance to give one more answer before we go back to the panelists. when we were first leaving
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school, i know you sent a lot of time with governor engler helping him to develop a program to go after african-american votes. if you were sitting next to governor romney, what would you be telling him? >> thanks for the opportunity. about six years i used to think i was outnumbered but i've grown in faith and i don't think i'm outnumbered. i'm here with my brothers and friends in christ and so forth. but the answer the brother on health care, i think the president did a wonderful job getting health care done but i tell you what, if my son is coming to me at 26 saying daddy, i want to be on your health care, no. i want that brother out there working. i'm not going to be taking pride in having him on my health care. i want -- don't want him on my
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health care at 26. i want him out there working, building his own family. and i have had the privilege to engage with the romney campaign. from a microperspective, i've said look, we've historically had four african-american cabinet positions ofe the last three-point presidency. get us back to four the i'd say if there were a supreme court nominee, give us one. i know you're going to take some heat from it, but let's get another black supreme court candidate. we had a chance to do it it once. a lot of people say well, you have a black person on the supreme court. but he's conservative. and the third thing is -- thing i'd say is we started spending $800 billion under president bush and president obama continued that stimulus
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package. unemployment was a little under 8% when we started the stimulus package. four years later, unemployment is 8.5%. so that indicates exactly what many of my brothers in the cpc have said to president obama, for various reasons it didn't happen, but if you are doing stimulus funding let's turn it to detro and atlanta and old cities, littles do the empowerment zones, target it toward our underserved communities and communities of color. we don't have any initiatives coming out of this administration, no empowerment zones such as you saw from president clinton. we've seen none of that come out of thisstration streags.
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so i'd say look, if we're going to keep spending, you've got to target some money. that's the same message the congressional black causeous said to the president on the heeled -- heels of president bush's spending. for whatever reason that was never able to happen. catch me on the side and i'll give you my thoughts on that. i'd also advise, you know, the romney campaign on social issues. look, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, we got to encourage life, folks. you got to encourage it. you know, there's all kind of issues surrounding, you know, a female not wanting to bring life into the world, but i think the federal government, i think as human beings we ought to be trying to encourage that. maybe there need to be more programs that say, if there's a pregnancy, we will help you,
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put a social safety net around you, more resources, but let's encourage life. let's not make it easier for that young lady who may be confused, may be tired, let's not make it easier for her to go to planned parenthood and say i can't deal with it. on the marriage issue -- i think that was the last one the anre is wanting to get in here. i'm going to exert moderator privilege in a second. >> number one, i think with the g.o.p., special nod to my friends and colleagues in the republican party. i'm from south georgia, so working in the georgia assembly have a lot of friends who are republicans. i think we too often make it an adversarial, toxic relationship. that's not how you get your policies through, having a toxic attitude between two parties who govern all people. that's politically dangerous for african-americans to push
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ourselves into a corner where we can only talk to one group of people. to that note, if i was speaking to mitt romney and the whole republican national committee, i would say the reason why you have zero percent of african-american support is you don't depend on their votes. there is no political reason for you to necessarily cater to african-americans, so why would you design a platform for people that usually won't vote for you anyway. i would start thinking with the lens of ok, i want to cater to them, which means i actually have to get to know who they are and what we want. if you look at african-americans and say we only want more checks, more dependency on the government, then utch the wrong ideas. on the same take -- token i would say to the democratic party, do not look did, do not take for granted the african-american vote. the challenge will be when those african-americans sit
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home, that's bust -- just as bad as if they were voting for the other party. i would say to both parties, look at the african-american vote as independent and do some study and say what are the real ways we can address these concerns without looking at what has always been historically done. look at certain positions in the cabinet and supreme court, that's all fine and well, but i personally would say i don't care what the color of your skin is if you are in the cabinet or on the supreme court, do you look at me as an american and an equal american ond -- and do you take into account who i am? you could be black, white, purple, whatever. but i want you to look at me and say these are americans. not just african-americans but americans in general. and my final point, on the note of conservative values, my frustration with the republican party has been that they align conservative -- conservative values as far as religious, moral values with conservative
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policies because african-americans by and large are conservative on their views when it comes to a lot of things, but again we aren't necessarily conservative with our policies. they don't market things to our group. they don't resonate with people who look like me. i'm concerned about protecting the life of an unborn child, but i'm also concerned about the hundreds of brothers being shot in chicago and no one is shaying anything. i'm also concerned over the fact that over the past month there is -- have been so many discussions about shootings here and there but we're more concerned about protecting our right to bear guns. we want to protect the unborn, but when you get here, you're on your own. that troubles me. >> so i just want to put a couple fadgets -- facts on the table from what's been said earlier. when we talk about the cabinet let's keep in mind we have the
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first nick -- african-american attorney general, the first african-american head of the u.s. trade representative's office negotiating on behalf of the country all over and an african-american u.n. ambassador, all of which sit in the president's cabinet so we still do have african-americans in the cabinet. the other point as a factual matter, the stimulus package that was passed, went out, $800 billion, a lot went to states and localities to help them plug the budget holes. 21% of african-americans who have a job work for state, federal, or local offices. so when you are keeping state, federal, localities, cities from laying people off, you are keeping black people in those g.s. 14 jobs that we have a problem with. but the black middle class is overindexed in the government sector. i have a question for britney.
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elroy mention aid second ago -- mentioned a second ago in his first remarks. he began talking about issues around sexual orientation a gording to the gallup poll may 2012, 60% of 18 to 24-year-olds support gay marriage. do you think that will have an impact on the marriage position? >> it it would depend on what you consider the typical. the african-american community definitely has more conservative values when it comes to things that touch religion and that would have an influence on that that topic has on the yulieski gourriel vote in this election. but with that you have to look at the amount of informed
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voters we have. as an african-american community are we really going out and the researching who we are voting for? are we really voting for barack obama because he's an african-american man? i think if we asked our counterparts, i think they would say yes and because that of i don't think it will be an issue in the upcoming election. >> anybody else want to get into this asia of whether gay marriage will be an issue? >> same-sex marriage, it was a hot topic of debate and challenged some of my christian values. coming from a deeply conservative back grourned, raised in georgia, raised up in the church, and going through those debates we have on campus, on brown street at morehouse. constant debate and exchange of ideas, that's what we do at morehouse. i came to the conclusion that there is a difference between
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my values in the church and civil rights and the issue of having the ability to have insurance policies and tax benefits and those type of things. when you look at it you have to look at it from a civil perspective, public policy, and i think you should never leave an issue of civil rights or public policy up for public debate. if it was 50 years ago and the issue was african-americans, loving versus virginia, black americans marrying white americans, it was a civil rights issue. we have to be able to distinguish our personal beliefs and choices with public policy. once you make that distinction it's not very hard to understand why you should support same-sex marriage or people's ability to choose. keep your own personal preferences, but understand that we live in a country of diverse and complex people. >> the om challenge with that
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-- -- many -- the only challenge with that -- >> before we go to that, i want to ask the audience, if you have questions, to go to the microphone. >> the only thought is we have not determined whether same-sex marriage isinate or acquired. no one can validate that so you can't necessarily put that in the same category as me being a black man. so i appreciate that point and i'm not taking a position on it. i'm just saying it's not substantiated, not dal -- validated. and you are right, it's much like what happened in the 1950's and 1960's on the race issue. again, you are born black. but when you say that's the same as maybe your preference or a choice, it's a splipery -- slippery slope.
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let's say by -- my brother was living with a woman, and they didn't happen to be married. but if he was living with a man they could get benefits? then you turn around and discriminate. so it's just a challenge -- >> which rule is that? which rule is that? >> the executive order that the president signed. >> so you're saying heterosexual domestic partners don't get the same benefits as homosexuals do? >> unless they're married. >> i don't know that's true. >> i don't know that that's accurate but let me say this about the point you mentioned earlier. the slippery slope, the right to life, as my friend said here, you stop it once the child is born.
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i think it's irrelevant whether there is scientific verification or lots of studies. once -- all you have to do is say i understand that we may see things differently, have a different religious perspective but at the end of the day, you should not authorize or allow discrimination. and there are a lot of circumstances as my friend mentioned here, where people have stood behind religious, moral, other justifications in order to justify bigotry, in order to justify discrimination and i think that living in 2012 particularly as minorities, whatever our individual thoughts and views are on the issue, we should step up and stand up and say we're not going to tolerate discrimination based on what someone else is or does. that's a basic principle and
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tenet. you want to teach love. you're making a policy argument. i got a son. i hope and pray that he marries a lady. that's just my personal opinion. if he marries a man, i'm not going to love my son any less than i would if he married a female. i would hope and i would fight to the death for anybody if he discriminated against my son. that's -- this is personal. so i'll -- all i'm saying on this issue is, you know, my grandma used to say, hey, boy, you're just passing through. you're not in this world, -- you're in this world, not of it. i boil it down. the bible makes it real clear on love and i leave it be at that. the bible makes it real clear on that and if you wand to support policy over the bible i respect that. it's not may matter of supporting -- >> hold it one second -- >> richard, then the wouns --
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audience. >> it's not a matter of supporting policy over the bible. if jesus were around he would hang out with the least of these, the crack heads, the peel -- people on drugs. beyond that point we can't sit here and dalk -- talk about -- i love this argument about how the government, we want small government, they don't want the government in your wallet or pocket but they want it to be in a woman's body. i'm not saying abortion is a good thing. i don't think it is. what you want, but the vice president on the republican party said he wants to cut programs like women, infants, and children, so when she has this baby she is forced to have by this government, she cannot get milk or eggs or cheese. what is she shosed to do? the head start program would be gone. you can't tell her what to do
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with her body and when she has a child, give her no solutions, no alternatives. >> i don't disagree with that but i try to keep it real simple as a dad. i mean when i was on capitol hill i would get into a big policy debate with you, my friend. >> but it's not a policy! >> i got a daughter. if somebody raped my daughter i honestly don't know how i would deal with that. i don't know, man. if my daughter wanted to get rid of her child i would not encourage her to. i would try to do everything in my power to bring that child into this world. the yes, though, elroy, is should the government make that decision for your daughter? >> i think the government should create, my person views, create a system where if you are be over 18 years old or 21,
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that you should consult with an adult or parent or past orr before that decision is made. that's all i'm saying. that's as far as i take it. in terms of whether it's legal or illegal, that's a personal decision -- but it's not a personal decision. it's a government decision. >> no, i'm giving you my point. i think that should be a personal decision between my daughter and myself. now, this is where you get into the policies. i've had these debates, jamal, we've all worked on capitol hill, been in the executive office. we can be in a policy discussion and where it gets to be a slippery slope is who pays for it? paying taxes, you have people who disagree with it, doctors -- but when you keep it basic and simple, do i think the federal government should tell me as a dad if i wanted my, if my daughter got raped and say i prayed on it, my wife and i and we zaded that we didn't want
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hear -- her to bear that for nine months, i don't think the federal government has the right to come into my house and tem me how to raise my daughter. >> so you're pro-choice. >> no, i'm not. i support life. but at the same time i get frustrated as a human being when i look at most planned parenthood agencies, the majority of them are in areas of color. so that makes it a little bit easier for that child who may not shall fortunate enough to have a cad -- dad or mom in the how thehold -- >> elroy, i -- britney, i saw you making some -- >> my biggest concern with this whole argument is really the wording of what the policy says, what the platform says. they have this idea of legitimate rape. so you are raped and it's jit, there are some republicans that believe that your body will not let you become pregnant. if it's real rape, you don't become pregnant ant -- and
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that's why the policy is ok. you can't be a party that wants to pull government back, to let wall street do what it is they want to do and pull back government regulation and at the same breath say they -- they should be able to tell me whether i keep my child or not, regardless of whether it is rape, incest or causes harm to the moth. -- mother the do i think gay marriage will be an issue in this election? no, i don't. you look at the democratic party and the republican party and you are an african-american person, you cannot tell me the republican party is for you. you can't. i don't believe it. but that's my opinion. i'm entitled to my opinion. >> let's go to anre to start the conversation -- sorry, so let's start here and then go over there and i want to hear your name, you know, any affiliation you want to name and then a question.
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not a speech. >> morehouse college class of 2009. my question is, um, to anyone on the panel. forgive me if i don't remember everyone's name but primarily as -- for the professor as a political skineivity and to my republican colleague, mr. sailor, sorry. do you guys believe that there is a way for african-americans as a scuent -- smuent -- community to coalition under one umbrella using all of the organizations at our disposal, may it be naacp, the urban league, the c.b.c., the black church, similarly to what the jewish community has done under the umbrell ofa aipac? there is no mistake as to whether or not they are one of the most aggressive and
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effective lobbying bodies on capitol hill and has been able to push the policies of the jewish community very effectively. the african-american community, however, is so disjointed and so many different factions that i believe that h affected our ability to be effective policy makers. >> so the question is, is it possible to have a coalition? >> that's a great question. when i was a student at morehouse college i wrote a little paper and said how do we advance where we are as a nation and as a people? i looked at the hispanic community, the jewish community. there is no other community that votes overwhelmingly, 90% for one party. prior to 1936 we all voted republican. that's a bad model. after that, we voted democratic. that's a bad model the what that has done for us as a people is create a system where republicans say we've got to
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win without them, so if somebody starts with whether it's racist or not racist, because there are racists in both parties. i used to get into that debate. i just don't any more. for every todd akin there is is a person on the left. i'm not -- about building people up, not tearing them down. do i think that statement was reflective the whole party? no, i really don't. he said something stupid. but i don't come to these discussions trying to defend republicans nor do i come to defend democrats. i come to say here's what i believe and who i support. getting back to the coalition point, if we were able to look at some model where we took 20% of the african-american community, say get engaged, go work on the hill, do the policy stuff, then another 20%, say you go join the republican party, get on their staffs.
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that's 40%. the rest of the 60%, you say you don't get engaged in any party. be a businessman, a mom, a teacher, do whatever. now you've got 20 pirs engaged in the democratic party at the highest level. you got your donna brazile's, your jamals here -- i forget the brother's name here. and then ub got -- get the republican side and do the same thing. you come up with a 10-point plan and say these are the things we most care about in our community and you let the democratic colleagues take that and up present that to the governor, the mayor. you say if you agree and can do six of these things, i'm going to go back to the folks and get them to turn out. if jamal comes to me and says i'm a republican and i got my candidate to bite on six of the issues and i if i only got my democratic guy to bite on
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three, i'm going with the republicans. we need to have no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interests. until we get about the business of that instead of all this back and forth, arguing about what todd akin said -- look, i've done that for 20 years. we're in the same boat. unemployment is getting higher the more brotherses -- brothers and sisters are in jail. insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting new results. that is the definition of insanny. >> professor morris -- >> i'm not advocating for one side. i'm pro us. >> professor, you probably also remember the gary convention and other efforts in the past to try to bring african-americans under a similar tent. do you think that this is something -- >> at howard and other universities we also tried to organize policy conferences
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where people could articulate things for national interests. winning can sometimes be an impairment. when obama won, many of the organizations seemed to be less visible than before. the one thing to remember in response to this comment, we're the only race that the, the only race than the votes of which the republican party has not pursued. this is nothing in -- that can be said in the large associations that can be said to african-americans whose agenda they have responded to or are interested in. obviously it would be easily -- easy to build coalitions if the republican party wins because a lot of black people would organize. but we don't want to be just
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responsive. problem is some of the organizations were not as responsive as they so -- should have been after obama got into the white house. i can think of some places where we didn't demand enough. my simplest example, a little one, comes to mind, shirley sherrod. remember that in we immediately concede to this orchestrated right-wing media -- >> can you explain who she is for people who don't know? >> the african-american secretary of agriculture who was falsely accused of making, quote, racist statements and some of the civil rights organizations joined in that accusation. i won't name them. but the point is we should take every opportunity to organize an agenda further to the left and with that, ironically, would come some of the white american left. so you have both groups that were not as well organized as they should have been. there could be a long explanation or discussion as to
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why but one of the reasons that african-americans switched to the democratic party in the 190 -- 1930's was that roosevelt had a progressive agenda. if that agenda looks for viable and you get over to the republican backlog, you would get more coalitions mobilized. if you watched the testimony in congress the other day you see african-americans taking the lead in testifying in favor of medicare. once you have a feasible agenda, you will get somewhere. now we've been stuck in fighting back. >> all right. question? >> my name is cindy brown. i'm a freshman here. psychological major. i'm going to backtrack a little bit. you mentioned something about substantiating sexuality. i don't need to -- anyone to substantiate my sexuality or who i am as a woman.
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i need the government to stay out of my body, out of my relationships until i get ready to get married. i don't need a scientist to tell me who i am ar -- or were i'm real or whether it's relevant to what your political standing is. i know i need a candidate who is going to fight for me in every demographic i represent. if i want toy candidate that supports gay marriage, i want the government to stay out of that. i want a candidate who represents that. i don't anybody to tell me that i am real, that i am, let's say a real woman, real lesbian or whatever. that's my business, not the government's. i just want that be -- to be clear. >> and i agree and i hear you speaking from your heart. i don't know you but i love you as a brother regardless of -- sister. >> a brother, sister, regardless of what your
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oryeptation is. i don't -- that's not my issue here. i apologize i misspoke but i couldn't tell. but my point is regardless of what your orientation is or what you think other people's orientation should be, you are absolutely right. that's not the government's business. the government should be about talking love. and support and respect. and i believe that from the bottom of my heart. but again, i support the bible. and you can't -- i don't think it's just like it's not fair for me to tell you what you should and shouldn't do for your life, it's not fair for you to say it's not appropriate for me to speak truth to the bible. >> do you have a question? >> you're right, the bible is not science. it's faith. >> [inaudible] . >> no, i made a point i said science in america and in the free world. you have molecules, you have
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biology and science. >> so let's just say so we can move past this point that there are questions about beliefs that occur and there are questions about public policy that occur, and that our founding fathers established a government without regard to religion. and so as a public policy matter, which is what we're here arguing about politics and policy not as much about faith that informs our politics and policy that we have to make judgments about how do we have a system and government that treats all citizens fairly regardless of their beliefs and back brounds. >> do you want to ask another question or go to the person behind you? thank you very much for your statement. >> can i jump in? >> as the next person comes up and we'll come over here. >> there's again broad policy statements. my colleagues to my left is often said he's speaking from the heart. very, very simple, basic, black
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and white. what we need to essentially emphasize is that when it comes to government there is no just black and white. it is very, very circumstantial, subjective, and mistakes of people who govern based upon their narrow view is that they paint things in a narrow light when most things are complex and have broad social forces that influence what happens. so whenever you try to take a sleeping policy and put it in a narrow light it disenfranchises, it damages, it's unintentionally malicious. so as well-intend as a lot of folks are, you can't paint issues in a narrow simple light. even if you're doing it in love. >> and that's the problem with the debate. >> so let's get the question here. >> thank you. speaking of disenfranchisement -- can we hear your name? >> sorry.
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eleanor trailer. i work here at howard. some people call me professor. so i am just wanting to speak to disenfranchisement, to slippery slopes, to speaking from the heart and like manner. and i wish to address to the panel an enigma that i experience. i am perplexed. >> and that experience will end in a question. right? >> yes. i would like the enigma to be addressed. how can a body of leaderly speakers, those who desire public office of any stripe
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tolerate in the least the suppression of the very definition of what america has come to mean to the world? that is, the right to vote. >> so your question is about voter idea loling? >> i have not heard that spoken to. >> do you think the voter id law will play out in the election season? >> it will certainly have an impact. i'm glad we're having a chance to talk about this. there has been three types of voter suppression laws that are running rampant across this country. folks should know that since the 2010 election just about 40 states have introduced laws that would require some type of voteo identification to be shown. several have passed and enacted
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those laws. what does that mean? some people think hey pull out the id out of your pocket. everybody has an id. it's not that simple. the devil is always in the details and what we've seen based on what the center at the new york university law school said, there are 5 million people who do not right now have the kind of id that will satisfy one of these voter id laws. who are those people? surprise, surprise. african americans, latino,, young voters, disabled people, people of lower income status. and it is uncredibly unfortunate because the point that the professor is making is that the right to vote is one that is essential and sacred in this country. and if you think about it, the constitution has been amend more times to protect or span the rights to vote than any other issue. there's six constitutional amendments that address that point. and now on our watch, after we have elect it had first black president, a year after we have erect it had martin luther king
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memorial and 47 years after john lewis and others engaged in what we call bloody sunday, we are now watching and allowing a series of states to pass these laws that will have a direct impact on the vote that you and i and people that look like us are going to cast. but guess what it is not just voter id. it is also rolling back early registration, early voting periods. so early voting. who votes early? people who can't necessarily take off a long day of work. who votes early? people who may need help getting to the polls, people who are in school. and african americans. on the sunday before the last election in florida, african americans and latinos combined were 51% of all the people that cast a vote on that day. well how do you think governor rick scott and the republicans in florida responded to that? they said no more early voting on the sunday before the election. all across the country whether
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it is florida or ohio, we are seeing a large coordinated well-funded attack on the right to vote and we shouldn't stapped for it. but the problem is it doesn't stop there. it's not just voter id, it is not just cutting early voting periods, it's making it harder to register people to vote. in 2008, 83% of young people under the age of 30 that were registered got out to the polls and voted. the problem is that only 54% of young people are registered. so what conclusion do you make there? if young people are registered they'll get up on election day and vote. what do you do about that? let's go back to florida. a critical state, a battleground state what did florida do? they said we are going to put up so many barriers on both party organizations registering people to vote that basically it dries the whole process up. for the first time in history the league of women voters, boy scouts rock the vote.
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a number have said we're not going to register people to vote because of these laws. a couple months ago the "new york times" did a study and said at this point in time there are 90,000 less new registered voters in florida than there were in 2008. we went through the numbers earlier about how young people can have a direct impact on this election and the truth is we're going to see not only these voter id laws but cutting early voting and registration have an impact on whether our fellow citizens can exercise the right to vote. lastly, everybody who has a smart phone show me. go to the your aps store. i'm not getting paid to do this. whether you're on and roid or i phone. pull down the election protection application. get that election protection application that's supported by rock the vote and lawyers committee for civil rights. it will confirm that you're
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registered, it will tell you where your polling place is. it will give you a number to call and it will help you report any issues that you see. the folks around the country see this is a big issue, it's important, and we have to take that power back to your own hands. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i just want to ask one question. >> we have to move on to the next question. >> sorry. >> we've got a lot of questions. but the panel will be here afterwards and you'll be able to ask followup. we have a question from twitter on that. i want to let the two student presidents get involved. is it more important for college students to vote where they go to school or to vote at home since they go to school in a certain state for nine months out of the year? and so this is kind of a piggy backing on this question of registration. >> well, to the note of registration, we have that question a lot because we have a lot of students from out of state. so we do this.
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for incoming freshman that will spend the next four years in the state of georgia, living and governed by policies in georgia, we encourage them to register as georgia voters. we do not encourage our students who see state funding and grants to register in the state of georgia because that will cut their funding. but for students who are planning to move or for other reasons have registration back home we do encourage them to stay in areas like swing states or states critical where their vote is more influential. but for incoming freshmen we encourage them to vote. outside of that, with the note of voter suppression, it is very real, very, very systematic. and it is troubling. we also encourage our brothers to make sure that they are calling their elected officials
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and being engaged and involved in the political process. >> do you want to say what happens here at howard when people want to vote here in d.c. or would you encourage them to vote at home? >> we've left it up to the discretion of the students. seeing as we're in d.c., we're in a different kind of situation seeing as we don't have representatives to vote for so we have a voice for the president but we don't get to vote for congress and things of that nature. o so there are students that want to submit absentee ballots and that's fine. we work with them so they can have those ballots submitted on time. personally i'm registered to vote in d.c. because this my community and i felt like that was a sacrifice i decided to make to be engaged in my community and have a voice in this community but irning it should be left up to the students. as long as they vote, i don't care where they're registered. >> i want to go to what the professor was saying when she was saying who is responsible. i'm not going to pin point
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anybody but i want to bring it back to what we were talking about earlier how the republican party they're not creating african american policies, they're not creating youth-centered policies. we know that to be what's happening. you double that ok they're not making policies to benefit but they're going to turn out the vote. so what do we do? maybe we pass laws that are totally regressive. so basically they want to take a pencil eraser and erase a whole group of people so you don't have to deal with them and pass policies that affect them. and then we wonder why they're not talking to us. because they don't have to talk to us but they're going to create policies that are sure we don't have an impact. >> thank you. >> here's my message to the young people in this crowd. what i would recommend regardless of who you want to vote for, romney or obama, and hear me on this for a second.
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the tea party, some good policies, some bad policies, i think those guys have got a right model and here's what i say that. those are republicans who said we're tired of these republican members of congress not speaking to our issues. whether you like their issues or not, they said these are our issues. they went to republicans and said if you do not support these principles that we have, we're going to put somebody else in office. my challenge to the young people in this room, voter suppression, republicans are pushing it and there are democrats in democratic primaries pushing the same thing. >> which democrats are pushing it? >> i say some pushing in some democratic primaries. >> in the modern area? >> in general. and -- >> let me finish that. voter suppression is not anything new. that's going on for a long time and it's wrong. that's my only point on that. [inaudible] >> i said in general. from the beginning of time
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voter suppression any time you do it it's wrong. but let me finish my point here. >> so democrats used to do it? >> both sides have pushed it. >> the conservatives are the ones that typically do this. >> both sides have pushed it and it's wrong. i'm not saying who's done it more or less. >> i think you're making a good point because i do think it's an important political note to talk to folks about organizing and believe in them or disagree with them or not the tea party has done a fenolnam job of organizing and getting the attention. i will say this, i can't sit here and allow you to make an equivalence between the role that the republican legislators across the country have played in suppressing minorities. >> and i agree with you it's wrong. i said in any facet it's wrong. i didn't want to leave it out there that it's been done on both sides and it's wrong.
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>> [inaudible] >> i'm not trying to say who's done it more. >> the reality is for a long time conservatives identified as democrats. over time those became republicans. they behaved the same way they just changed the title. >> but it's not quite that equivelept. >> that's simple. >> they focused on voter identification restrictions started in 2006. those pre-segregation efforts are just that. you can't make any -- if we wanted to imitate the tea party we have a sweeping with billions of dollars we can do it. that's not it. >> so find a billionaire and organize your party. >> the people who mobilize activity. when i talk about voting restrictions earlier, i think that is the opportunity we need to take that can be interracial recognizing that the assertion of democratic rights need to be reaffirmed because it is underattacked by groups of people who think they can win
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by keeping people away from the polls. >> if somebody paid me a billion dollars to organize i would organize, too. >> again, if you're going to vote for president obama if you're a democrat, my only point there for the young people is take a play book from the civil rights movement or tea party movement. don't just be a democrat and beat up republicans. i'm not just a republican beating up democrats. i'm a republican going to my party saying here are the things that you're not doing for my community. and we try to demand all those things that hold them accountable. all i'm going to say is if you vote for president obama or president mitt romney -- if he wins he will be president. when you get finished it's to hold your party accountable. >> we'll move to the audience. >> i thank the panelist force their great work here today. in look at the political landscape, it seems that
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relationships across the aisle are becoming more and more toxic and that there's less tendency to work together. it also seems that personal religious beliefs are more and more visible in the current political conversations and debate. i'm just wondering whether the panel sees this in the future of america, what do you think this is going to do to politics down the line, and that's my question. >> as somebody that works on the hill now, i haven't been there as long as some other folks but i will make this one observation. you are absolutely right. and if we continue in the direction that we're going now, i'm not sure how we'll ever get anything done. now, look, the problem is that during democratic administrations, there's pushback from the republican side. during republican administrations, there's pushback on the democratic side. i'm going to try to make this
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point in a bigger sense and not be too partisan. but at the end of the day, it seems as if compromise and finding a way to work together has become a bad word and a concept to be avoided. if that was the case when our great country was founded, if compromise was a bad word there wouldn't have been no constitution. there wouldn't have been progress over the years. so yes democrats have to work with republicans and republicans have to work with democrats. i will say this. turn a little bit of a partisan hat. i have seen in the senate in particular over the last couple of years the filibuster used more times than ever before in our history. what does that mean? it means that important legislation like economic development, whether it's health care reform, whether it's judges, whether it's all these things that are really important have been held up
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from even having the debate, from being even brought to the floor and saying you know what? i disagree with you on this. let me have my amendment, vote it up or down then let's have a debate so the american people can see what's going on. you and i have had a couple of disagreements today. i hope that we can take our model and incorporate it on capitol hill because there's no civil conversation happening there and it's long overdue for that to happen. >> does anybody else want to get in? >> there's a little bit of 1984 going on where nonagents get pushed to the front. take for example this last ruckus over sman akin talking about legitimate race. now, before that there wasn't an actionable issue forcible race in the agenda. now democrats are responsible for letting it go unnotice. but nobody in the media now --
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has ever focused on the fact that a lot of this stuff is distracting from real policy agenda. >> and paul ryan was one of the cosponsors of that. >> is there any other -- my question is, is there any other defense of the same sex marriage other than religious defense? >> can you ask one more time? >> so apparently it was a really good question because it got a lot of response from your crew. could you ask it one more time a little louder? >> is there any other defense against same sex marriage other than religious defense? >> is there another defense. against same sex marriage.
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anybody? >> thank you for your question. >> when it comes to the federal election, states usually define marriage. there is no federal policy that basically define what is a marriage is. so when it comes to the national debate it's not really something that can be pulled into the -- well, there was -- there's no federal -- it's not decided in congress. just by the voter suppression laws that are in seven of the ten largest african american populations in the country. that's why emphasizing not just in the senate, but general assembly. >> it's a policy lev. >> i think the woman in the white. did you have a question?
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>> good afternoon. my question in the spirit of speaking from the heart, i'm asking because it genuinely dit not sit well with me regarding abortion. so mr. sailor could you please again explain briefly your position on abortion. >> i have a daughter, she's 13 years old. if she got raped i would have to pray on it and i don't know how i would deal with it. i just don't know. >> so your position is i don't know? >> if it comes to rape, i don't know. as a dad, i don't know. if you have children. >> so the question is -- what should the federal position be? >> oh, the federal position. i think the federal position from my personal perspective is that should be an individual's
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choice. i don't think the federal government should be involved in that. that's as a dad. i don't think the federal government should be involved in that decision. >> do we have a question over here? young lady in the red. >> my question is directed to professor morris. you say that you're deeply rooted in the bible. the bible shows -- my question. oh, mr. say legislator. i'm sorrifment you say that you're deeply rooted in the bible. and i'm a christian as well and i think that when you say -- when you're saying things about somebody's sex, i think that the bible doesn't show any discrimination. so i think that didn't sit well with me at all. and i wanted you to clea that
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up on what you mean. >> there were three verses in the bible and i want to site them all here that speak specifically to homo sexuality. catch me afterwards and i can pull them up. it speaks specifically to a man lusting after a man or a woman lusting after a woman. so the bible is real clear on its position on same sex or homo sexuality. the bible is not ambiguous on that. it's very clear. i'm not talking about discrimination or love. i'm just saying that act is very clear on that. >> so he's going to lead bible study in the corner after here. feel freedom to come down here. >> speak a little slower and a
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little louder. >> i'm from detroit, michigan. my question is for anyone that wants to address this question. you kind of spoke about the consistency of just african americans being active in the political process of things of that nature and we make that almost sound like an issue of our generation when that's an issue of every generation. iment to know besides just saying how active we aren't in the process, how can we kind of keep people active all year round? >> well, what we've done actively, coming out of -- >> hold on a second.
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>> we recently had a conference called nacep. i forget the acronym but for student leaders and we had about 35 and we came together and built a coalition. and we now have a hbc unified registration drive. working together to get all the campuses registered. the thing about it is we are doing this in concert working under the radar so we haven't done press releases and talked to big news organizations because we're not interested in having the publicity. we're interested in getting the job done. there's some great leaders from texas all the way to florida to north lincoln who all are a text message away who work together on registration, lobbying, making sure our voice is heard and this is happening but it has to happen in a
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greater sense. so the work is happening. make no mistake about it. >> i think he's right. on top of the work that we can do on voter registration, one issue that i've sort of beep trying to grapple in my own mind, why is it that we've seen all the other groups, we have seen the latinos, they came to washington with an agenda. the lgbt commurent came to washington with an agenda and they pushed their agenda. but when it comes to the youth movement and african americans, when president obama got elected we put our hope and change posters in our bedrooms and were like yeah we won, and we sat down. and we had no agenda. so people are saying the president didn't do enough for african americans. but where were the people saying this is what we want you to do? we want you to do x, z, y. and i think one when we reelect him in 70 days, on day 71 what
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we need to do as a community, both as young people as well as african americans, is we need to come up with a collective agenda and take our agenda to washington just like our agenda neements to come to washington and we need to have a fight with anybody who is going to get in the way of our agenda. that's what we saw the hispanic community do. and one community that i marvel at is the lgbt community. they came with an agenda and if you got in their way, they ran commercials, sent mail, and they did everything possible. and people fell in line. nobody said anything. because we all know that the politicians that we deal with, they're affected by polls, they're affected by public opinion. so if we are that public that provides that opinion, then we need to have an agenda so our opinion can be educated. >> all right. so we are at the end of our program. thank you all for being here. thank you for this great audyps
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-- audience. thank you to this great panel. and i want to thank howard university for being great hosts not only of this event but also of this entire weekend you make us all feel very welcome when we're here on your campus. you always did even when i was 19. so thank you all for having us back.
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since this was sort of an introduction to america at large and i think he largely did a good job. >> i thought that it was a fairly good speech. it did reintroduce romney to the american public. however, it did not change my mind. i will still vote for president obama. >> i watched the whole convention. i am extremely impressed. i was undecided. now i am decided. i am 100% a romney supporter. >> i am an obama supporter. i think that he has made 12 million new jobs compared to romney will have to start all
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over. at this point in time you put obama's record up against what romney has done, there's no comparison. the ticket of romney and ryan together against obama and biden, there's just no comparison there. >> president obama has a republican house, how does he get anything done? that's what we really need to focus on. putting obama back in and let him finish what he has started. >> mr. romney did a fabulous job on this convention. he opened my eyes on a lot of things that i wasn't sure and his wife did too. she did a fabulous job. so my whole family will be voting for mr. romney. and mr. ryan. >> and next week watch gavel to gavel coverage of the democratic convection from charlotte, north carolina. >> i can only surmise in the movie we rattle a lot of cages.
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>> i grab my cameraman and pretended to be important. security council people seem pretty uptight. i was told u.n. peace keepers who had killed liberns. >> the at the beginning of the crisis and here we had these blue ridge rants fighting each other. that is how -- sounds to me like he's dodging the question. >> so i walked out of my apartment, very nice comfortable place to live, nothing particularly exciting generally happens there. and came out and i was greeted
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by a man who was waiting very nicely dressed waiting for me outside my apartment and he said are you ami horowitz and i said yes, i am. and he just simply said is this movie more important than your family? >> why does an investment banker make a film on waste, mismentment? find out sunday. >> now a discussion about the attitudes and demographics of undecided voters in the 2012 presidential election. >> every week here on c-span we bring you a look at america by the numbers. and today we're joined by frank newport whose the editor in chief joining us from new york
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talking about undecided voters. thank you for being with us on "washington journal" this morning. >> it's my pleasure to be with you. >> let's start with the question. as the campaign gets under way today, who are the undecided voters? >> well, the first question actually is how do you define undecided voters? because that's help us understand who they are. everybody can define them in different ways. how we're looking at them at registered voters whom when we ask the initial question who would you vote for? right now we're saying romney ryan versus obama biden they don't give us an answer. later up some of these people will say they lean to one of the other candidates and some will stay undecided but in that first question, our assumption is if they don't immediately say either romney or obama, then they're not as certain in their vote as others and we classify those people as
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undecided at this point. and that's about 12% of the registered voter population. now, as i mentioned other people can do it different lifment we even tried -- you can follow up and say are you certain to vote and might you change your mind? then the number gets larger. but we think this way of looking gives us a good core of people who are somewhat more likely to shift. >> you have 12% undecided by age group. and your most recent gallup poll. you also have a chart looking at the undecide bid party, the undecided in terms of republicans 15% of republicans being undecided, 58% of independents, 20% of democrats among all voters the undecideds are 32% among republicans, making up all voters 33% independent and 33% democrat. but the independents still always traditionally the largest number of undecide snd >> yes. and your final interpretation
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is right. charts can be a little daunting. but on the left that was all undecided voters. and the big take away was almost 6 out of 10 are independents. if you look at the right, put all together and that's just about a third. so that's the signal carkstrist tick of these people undecided voters is they don't have a party allegiance eeter way. they tell us we're independent and that means they're less anchored. and of course that means they're more able to move one way or the other. so that chart you saw is probably the most important thing we'll look at. it tells us we've got a group of people who don't have a mooring as it were in a strong partisan orientation, therefore more flexible when it comes to their decision. >> joining us from new york to take your quess about voters particularly undecided and independent. the numbers to use are on your
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screen. >> there was also a release that came out by abc news "washington post" polled said it's in the 20% range. so all this goes back to what i was saying previously it rea elly depends on how you define. so that's a really small number. he was assuming that most people were fixed in their choices. although you can define it in many ways, the way we're looking at it here is a pretty good way of getting an insight into who these people are
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basically who don't have strong attachment to the political system. >> reflecting that the "washington post" editorial this morning on mitt romney's speech last night. >> keep in mind what the task is, i think this year first and foremost their task is to make sure that the committed voters on their side turn out and vote. that's as important or more than shifting these votes. turnout is a real key. for example, if barack obama does well as he does among hispanic voters, above 60%, that doesn't do him a bit of
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good if they don't turn out and vote. now, in addition to that, we've got the undecideds we're talking about. people talk about this. i've been asked this many times we sit here and pour over the data and it's kind of all the above. both realize you can't do just one thing. clearly mitt romney is seen as remote. when you ask americans who is the more likeable candidate, obama is winning by over 20 points. it's an amazing distinction there. obama has a higher favorable rating. obama does better when you say who cares about the people like me? so a lot of these that's obama going away. romney with his c.e.o. image does better when you say who can handle the deficit or economy. so which one of these should you focus on? and i think we saw through the convention they were trying to make romney more likeable. now, whether they succeeded
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we'll have to wait and see. but in addition, they were drumming home the economic message that they know is already in existence. so both are trying to do a bit of everything. >> we have calls waiting to talk about the undecided voters. we have set aside a special line for you. caller: good morning. i have a poll question i would like to get out there. mine would be simply would you buy george bush's used car from mitt romney? guest: well, thank you for the suggestion. we'll carefully consider whether we put that in our next poll. i think what the caller was getting at is perceptions of honesty and dishonesty and i'm not sure that's a big problem for either candidate. it's more kind of whether you
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think that a person is honest or not is a lot different than saying i like them or think they care about me. host: james in kansas city on our independent line. good morning. caller: quick question about the percentage that you showed earlier and what the educational breakdown of that. guest: the 58% of undecide snd caller: the undecided. guest: what was your question again? >> host: what is the educational breakdown of that 58% that's undecided? do they have higher education, college? dropout? whatever it is. guest: what i can tell you is that in general undecided voters as a group are actually educationly no different than people of all -- well actually i should say there's a slight
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difference there that undecide ds have less education, they're somewhat more likely to have high school. but i think that's true of that middle group as well. less likely to have some college, less likely to have post graduate education. so a little on the downside of the education and probably less involved in the system because they're not actively involved educationly. and more likely to be involved. i think that chart shows if you're talking to the left that's not just 58 that's all. but that's high school or less is at least somewhat higher among these undecided voters. >> texas, diane on our republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. how are you? guest: fine. caller: i'm basically calling to say that for the undecided voters i was just wondering
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what are they basically undecided about? mitt romney people keep saying that they don't know him. i really feel like last night he showed that he is a great father, great husband, he's sympathetic, empathetic to people. a great businessman. i don't understand why a lot of people continue to feel as if he can't run the country better than obama. host: we do have an undecided voters on the line. this is robert from daytona beach, florida. you may have heard diane's question. what are you undecided about? caller: i'm undecided about what's got my concern is the price of fuel. i'm a truck driver so i'm exposed to it on a regular basis and it's really a super drag on our economy. and i'm upset at the pt's got a laysa fair attitude about that. even though i voted for him the
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last time i'm quite undecided because this is a big drain on our economy. it's a huge drain. host: so undecided in daytona beach there. what did you hear in his response? is that a question you would ask your undecided respondents? guest: that's i want resting. he was undecided apparently because he's more what we call a single issue voter since his livelihood depends on the cost of fuel and gasoline that's crucial for him but i'm sure there are others who say my crucial issue is x, let's say education. or my crucial issue is y. let's say health care if the person is a nurse or hospital administrator. so everybody has particular concerns to them. i think going back to the previous caller, i believe she was from texas that's a red state and she felt strongly apparently in support of romney. and of course we could get a caller that comes from one of the bluest states in the country, let's say rhode island
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or massachusetts and they would probably say they can't understand how anybody would not be supporting barack obama. and that's the whole point. people who are in one side or the other simply can't fathom that other people don't share their strong emotional convictions for one or the other. but the reality is, that's why we do polling. that's why it's great to get this big picture so we break out of our ways of looking at the world. there are people out there who don't share an emembers of congressal connection to either. that still have questions about which candidate would be the better president. >> it sounded like our caller from daytona beach was going to vote. your polling reflects a propensity opt part of undecideds to vote nine and ten the scale here, 55% of undecidings will vote and among
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all voters 83%. but given that typically our voting levels are well below 83% are both of these optimistic in both regards? >> yes. the real key, people do overreport their certainty to vote. that is true. however, the relative difference is what that chart shows us and these undecided voters are significantly lower that than all voters. so what that tells us is in part reflecting what i've been talking about that undecide ds are more likely to be independent, less partisan, less connected in general and probably are less likely to show up on election day. so one issue is they are in general a little more checked out of the system and are less likely to be likely voters. >> let's get back to calls. on our democrat's line. good morning. caller: i've got a question to
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ask you. the lady i believe you have an investigation by the justice department? guest: is there an investigation? is that your question? caller: i know there is going on. and i wondered if that's going to affect this polling in any way. host: i'll let him respond. guest: absolutely not. a large part of what gallup does is business. we have relationships with a large number of businesses and the government. we do contracts, employee engagement. we have a wide variety of business service that is we provide many, many satisfied clients here and around the world including the federal government and there is this dispute that's going on there that's actually outside of my side of our business altogether. i'm not involved in that but it
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has absolutely no impact on anything we do. host: let's hear from another undecided calleder. bob in jacksonville. caller: hi. host: what's it groing do take to make you decide or have you sort of -- are you leaning one way or the other? caller: i've called in on the undecided line because that's the way i was feeling until last night it was really just a dog and pony show. i'm -- i vote absentee ballot because i'm disabled and i do vote but i have to say that i have to go with mr. obama when one becomes president everything is thrown at him. i think he's done as well as anybody could be expected to dot in the four years inheriting all the problems that he did. so i am going to have to say
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that i am decided from an undecided view after watching the dog and pony show i will vote for mr. obama. host: we'll take him out of the undecided and into one for president obama. do undecide you had voters decide real late? here we are two months away from the election. guest: he calls it a dog and pony show. of course i would wait and watch next week as well. we all know that political conventions have very little official function any more other than to certify officially the candidates that are going to be the nominees so they all are media shows to put the best footed forward. so it will be interesting to watch next week as well. but they do have an impact. our data will show that in general over history the conventions can cause what we call a bounce undecided and other voters can move one way or the other coming out of the
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two conventions. so what we're going to be looking for here is to see not just is there a bounce coming out of this convention, of course it was an anti-bounce for this caller it sounds like, the republican party pushed him away from romney rather than toward him but typically the conventions call in up to percent five percentage points. and then we'll see what happens next week. obama should get a bounce but the real issue should be in mid september did the race reset itself. that's what we'll be looking for. did we come out of the race, rather than being tied, with one more ahead. if so it will probably be these undecided voters that have shifted. so that will be fascinating for us to see what happens when the dust settles. host: bk to florida on our republican line. caller: i would like to say one
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thing. last night i was watching part of the convention on c-span and all throughout i would switch between the other channels and on msnbc they did not show any of the speeches of the people describing mitt romney like the couple there that had the 14-year-old son, they cut tim paul enti's speech out and broadcasted their own views or commercials or campaigning basically for obama. and i think this is a really bad thing that the people are not getting all the information that they should be receiving about either candidate. i think this is a fraud. i think -- and as far as they just keep constantly promoting
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their own point of view. because it seems everybody that's on there is a liberal. >> another comment on the convention. i want to ask you about the influence of negative ads on undecided voters. do they work? >> well, we've been asked that question for a long time. a lot of academics look at it and a lot of people do studies. what i like to look at is the proof'sd in pudding answer to that question. and that's these political consultants who work for the candidates aren't stupid. they have big budgets and they decide to spend lots of money running negative ads. my assumption is that these smart men and women assume they work. we know when you ask americans do you like negative ads they say no. and people will tend to deny that they make much impact. but i think that it's clear
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from correlational data and other things that these negative ads relentlessly kind of pounding home can make a difference. >> in the "wall street journal" an opinion piece about negative advertising.
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guest: well, that's kind of everything but the kitchen sink flt and all those can have an impact. so that's completely right. debates can have an impact. we saw that in 19 080 when ronald reagan convinced voters. slips of the tongue can make an impact. personality. lots of thing ks make an impact. what happened to the hostages in iran leading up to the election, that could have had an impact. so absolutely right. many, many factors go in to pushing voters one way or the other. and one of the most fundamental was the economy. if the economy is booming as it was back in starting to boom in 84 and 96 when we had reagan and clinton seeking reelection, they didn't need to do much else. that perception of the ridesing
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economy carried them right on to an easy victory in al data and other things that these negative ads relentlessly kind of pounding home can make a difference. >> in the "wall street journal" an opinion piece about negative advertising. guest: well, that's kind of everything but the kitchen sink flt and all those can have an impact. so that's completely right. debates can have an impact. we saw that in 19 080 when ronald reagan convinced voters. slips of the tongue can make an impact. personality. lots of thing ks make an impact. what happened to the hostages in iran leading up to the election, that could have had an impact. so absolutely right. many, many factors go in to pushing voters one way or the other. and one of the most fundamental was the economy. if the economy is booming as it was back in starting to boom in 84 and 96 when we had reagan and clinton seeking reelection, they didn't need to do much else.
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that perception of the ridesing economy carried them right on to an easy victory in both cases. but for carter in 0 and bush senior in 92, the perceptions of a bad economy kind of sanction their attempts to get reelect. show we may be more polarized but i'm not sure that the evidence compared to the ree lecks show they're more undecided. host: let's get back to calls. guest: good morning, c-span. thank you for taking my call. i'm a college graduate. i'm undecided. it was the congress that gave us the debt, the decrease in our credit rating. and as for paul ryan, he just, he's supposed to be so truthful and honest and everything else. well, he wasn't. and i would consider myself a reagan democrat. there's a lot of us older people out here very undecided. so i don't know how your gallup poll works or something. but there's more of us out here than you think. and thank you very much for your service and thank you. host: thank you. guest: well, there we had an undecided. reagan democrat. that's a oxy moronic kineoffed way of describing somebody who
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might have oriented themselves as a democrat but liked the republican candidate which means they're not dyed in the wool. they're not going to absolutely vote for one or the other just because of the partisan orientation. there are people like that. there are sizeable groups, they're republican or conservative and will vote for anybody under that banner for president and vice versa. but what we heard there is somebody who is conflicted and that's your undecided. >> in your most recent survey breaking the undecided down by gender survey done, the august 1 through 29, here's what it looks like in terms of the undecided. 54% are female, 46% male. and the overall in terms of voters, 48% are male, 52% female. did the undecided numbers tend to change over time in terms of gender? >> not really. i think what you're looking at there exemplifies the fact that gender is not a mage ever
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factor. it's kind of representative of the overall population. host: pine hill, new jersey. chris is an undecided voter. caller: good morning. i'm undecided because i hate all of them. i'm a social conservative. i've been voting republican since ronald reagan. host: who would you vote for if he were in the campaign? who would be your ideal nominee? guest: the republicans haven't nominated anyone since reagan. i hold my nose and voted for mccain last time. i hate all of them. i would never vote for obama, considering or biden. on the other hand, i'm 51 years old. why would i vote for someone since as soon as they're get in office they're going to cut my throat oh they're going to save
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medicare for me. i don't believe that for a minute. and social security would be next. host: clearly it sounds like chris there is not going to vote. does your poll look at the folks who actually won't vote orhost:s not going to vote. is your poll looking at folks who do not plan to vote in the election? guest: the data we are looking at are all registered voters, but when you saw that chart of how likely are you to vote, there were about 15% who said zero chance. there are some of them out there, maybe like the color bang. an entry, when he was sitting there criticizing all of the above -- i am intrigued, when he was sitting there criticizing all of the above, that shows in our data in general. congress' approval is at 10%, the lowest in american history. the fed for government is a couple of -- the federal government is a couple of points above the oil and gas industry, which is dead last. it could dampen overall voting
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from where it was in 2008. host: you said that the congressional approval number, the most recent month, was 10%? guest: that's right. host: what is the highest approval rating, to your knowledge, that congress has gotten? guest: good question. it is generally lower than presidential approval. the average congressional approval since the gallup measured is 10 or 15 points lower. 10% is considerably below average, the lowest in history in answer to your question, the highest came after 9/11, when george w. bush got 90% job approval rating and congress was above 80% a few weeks after
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9/11. that is what we call a rally in effect, when americans were rallying our around anything having to do with the government, because the bank received -- because they received an external threat. host: if you more minutes with frank newport -- a few more minutes with frank newport. camden, new jersey. roger is a democrat. caller: good morning, how are you doing? host: fine. go ahead with your comment, roger. caller: the reason why i called is because of the -- the -- i'm sorry. i was calling concerning mitt romney.
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when he first started running, there was a situation where he said -- they asked him a question, and he was talking about -- oh, my god -- they asked him a question, and he said he did that -- his main focus was on the rich, and he did not care about the middle- class, and he was not worried about the poor. i mean, that should be enough to make a decision on who you should vote for, because to me, that guy does not care about this country. he is all about himself. host: any response to that, frank newport? guest: well, this is symptomatic of what happens in the campaigns. that is why in a lot of people don't want to run, because you have video cameras chasing you all day long, and they make lots and lots of speeches and it
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is all recorded on tape, and people say things and it is gotcha, people grow apiece and make something of it and the campaigns argue over it and the voters decide whether it is meaningful or not. romney's campaign says that what he was saying is that there were government programs already in place to help those who are really poor, and what we have to do is look out for people who don't have government programs in place. opponents say that this exemplifies the positioning they want to point romney in, that he has a plutocrat and only cares about the rich. that is how campaigns work. there is so much people have to say -- i follow this thing for a living, and every couple of days, there is an eruption where one candidate or the other says something and it can be picked up and you can get this argument back and forth. as you heard from the caller in new jersey, that particular
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argument stock in his mind. these things can a difference. host: bobby from ohio, welcome to the conversation. caller: mitt romney allegedly has an account in the cayman islands and a swiss bank account. has gallup done any studies of the voters voting for or against him on this? guest: good question, and the answer is no. i don't believe we or any other pollsters have asked about whether he has accounts in the cayman islands makes people more or less likely to vote. well over half of americans wish they were rich themselves. lots of our candidates have been a will to do, going back to john kennedy, who was from a
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rich family, so on and so forth. i am not sure whether being rich per se makes a difference. it is whether or not you are sensitive to and would ignore the interests of americans who are not rich like you are. host: a poll from ohio, a state poll on the presidential race and senate race there. they said that 10% are up for grabs in the presidential race. the senate struggle has 12% of wiggle room. does that number seem high to you? guest: no. i am not sure how they define undecideds, but that is fairly in line with what we're talking about here. that is easy to say and probably true of most elections. undecided voters are the ones to make the decision in most elections. if i.t. is not a close
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election, when one candidate like richard nixon in 1972 is way out ahead -- if it is a}, it is those undecided -- if it is a}, it is those undecided voters and make a difference. host: carol, go ahead. caller: i watched the convention last night and i was full of pride. harry reid has blocked a lot of things and people in nevada do not like him. he is mormon also. what mrs. bush said, the former first lady, that we have to get involved and no issues, and then you decide who you vote for, and it is your privilege as far as being a citizen of the united states to vote and be part of the process.
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that is all i have to say. host: frank newport, it sounded like from the comments last night by mitt romney that they were really focusing on from here on out approaching voters who had voted for obama in 2008 and looking to lure them to the romney campaign. is there any way that gallup will be checking that attempt? guest: absolutely straight -- absolutely. we track daily. for a republican to win, they have to pull back in some of those voters. if the same scenario happens this year that unfolded in 2008, obama is going to win again. republicans have two goals -- one is to activate the core republican voters and get them to turn out, which is easier for republicans and democrats,
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because republicans are more likely to vote. they have characteristics like age and education that make them more likely to vote. the second task is to pull down at 7% margin that obama had over mccain, so they have to come in to become a convert some of those people who went for obama to go to romney, or they were going to lose. host: this is joyce. caller: mr. newport, would you put on your poll "would you buy a used car from mr. obama?" i would tell you, absolutely no. i have no use for people who are liars. none of the people ask this question -- you know what obama said about transparency, he was going to get rid of lobbyists. did he get rid of them? is he giving us transparency?
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absolutely not. and another thing you should put on your poll -- why did he seal his record and his wife's records? you answer that to me. guest: well, she is certainly not an undecided voter. there are lots of the voters who are strongly committed. she is obviously committed to romney, but there are others who are committed to obama and will not see any other way. i am intrigued that another person asking a question about used cars. i will rush back to the office and come up with more "would you buy a used car from this guy, romney or obama," and see if that works and our questions. apparently that is a good metaphor for political
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sentiments. host: we are keeping an eye on at twitter, and our twitter handle is @cspanwj. remind us again with the approval ratings were for the president and congress. guest: that is a very good point. congress' approval rating is 10, and obama's approval rating over the past two weeks is anywhere from 40 to 49%. in our consumer confidence measure, it shows that americans are negative on the economy. with all those fundamentals negative, i.t. is fairly remarkable that the president is maintaining as high a job approval rating as he is fit
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historically, president of the warnings are higher than congress -- president approval ratings are higher than congress'. but this is quite a bit higher. data shows that people are comfortable with president obama, and that is helping him from driving down into the 20s or 30s, as with happened in george h.w. bush in 1992 or jimmy carter when he was seeking reelection. unlike those guys, he has kept his job approval rating up there at roughly 45% or higher. host: oklahoma city is next. roger is undecided in the presidential race. good morning, roger. caller: good morning. i registered at 18 years old as the democrat. over the years -- i am 50, or
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60 years old -- i would like to say 50 -- i tended to go for a conservative democrat, almost into the republican category. i am very undecided. i voted for obama, but so much uncertainty -- gas prices, medicare, medicaid, all these things are hitting me now. i don't like the uncertainty of things. i saw -- i watched the republican convention -- host: i'm going to let you go there 3 we have a couple more minutes from fra -- frank newport. what did you hear from roger? guest: what i heard was fascinating, his uncertainty
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about the current situation. back in 1980, americans were very uncertain. very uncertain about jimmy carter. the task of the reagan candidacy was to convince voters that reagan would be a more stable, realistic alternative. ultimately, he did convince americans of that and he won over jimmy carter that is romney's challenge now, and the obama people know it, and that is why they are going against romney as a person, because they don't want him to be seen as a reasonable alternative. is romney seen as a stable, realistic alternative, and the obama people are saying no, and romney, of course, is saying yes. host: 19% in the 18-to-2910 or, 34% in the 30-44 category. here is dan in denver, colorado, on our republicans' line for frank newport.
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caller: good morning, gentlemen. my question is, for your guest -- i clearly am a conservative, and i have friends that are clearly liberal. of the people that are outside of that 59% range, how does the gallup poll use people that are clearly ideologues in deciding who is undecided? guest: well, that's a good question, and we actually had a chart on that. when we asked people, are you conservative, moderate, or liberal, undecideds are much more likely to be moderates than the general population.
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in answer to the color bang's question, -- caller's question, they are not strong conservatives or liberals did you see how high that middle moderate bar is for undecideds. it is underscoring the fact that if you are undecided today, you are not strongly bound by ideology or partisanship on either side of the spectrum. host: frank newport it is my pleasure. we learned a lot with your highly astute viewers.
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>> tomorrow, john hoffmeister, describing state of the 00 companies. the manager of the national parks association, and joshua glass talks about the 1972 democratic convention. "washington journal," live at 7:00 on c-span. >> next week, watch gavel-to- gavel coverage of the democratic convention, live on c-span. next, president obama talks to soldiers, and mitt romney and paul ryan at a rally in florida. followed by a rally in richmond, va., with paul ryan.
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>> a lot of the shows -- anything that is happening live. anything that really went wrong, you don't want to worry about the commentary. >> he watches c-span on time warner cable. created by cable companies in 1979. >> president obama announced a new executive order to improve mental health services for members of the military. the president also met in private with a member -- with service members. this is where he announced the
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end of the iraq war two years ago. this is 30 minutes. [applause] hello. thank you so much, everybody. to the general, thank you for the introduction and your leadership, leading our troops in iraq and taking care of our soldiers now that they are at home. and right at the top, let me say that our hearts are obviously with all the folks who are down in louisiana and the gulf coast who are dealing with the aftermath of hurricane isaac. our prayers are with those that
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have lost loved ones, and i have directed the federal government to keep doing everything it can to help our partners at the state and local level. as a country, we stand united with our fellow americans in their hour of need. i want to thank general petard and all your great commanders for welcoming here today. i want to give a shout out for the sergeant major of the army, ray chandler. and command sergeant major ronnie kelly. [applause] these guys remind us that are not commission officers are the backbone of our military. [applause] leading the finest in listed force in the world. it is great to be backed at fort bliss. home to the army, air, and missile defense command.
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we have guard and reserve your. of course, home to the legendary first armored division, old ironside. we have a lot of brigades here, including the iron eagles, iron brigade, bulldog, and ready first. [applause] and i also want to salute lucille petard, alice kelly, all the extraordinary spouses and military family here. give them a round of applause. [applause] i know all of you are grateful for the incredible support you received from your civilian neighbors, so i want to the knowledge two champions of fort bliss.
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we have congressman silvestre reyes and mayor john cook. also got all the great folks in el paso and new mexico. give them a round of applause. [applause] now i have come back for a simple reason. two years ago, i was here to mark an historic moment in the life of our nation and military, the end of major combat operations in iraq. it was a chance for me to say on behalf of the american people, to you and all who served there, welcome home and congratulations on a job well done. in every major phase of that war, you were there. the iron soldiers, because of your speed and strength, the american troops toppled dictator
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and less than one month. because of your commitment, you stayed on extended tours, and went back year after year. because of your determination to succeed, you turned back an insurgent, you stood firm against sectarian strife, you helped pull iraq back from the abyss, and you trained iraqis to take the lead. that was the progress that you made possible with your service and courage. and so, two years ago, i was able to come here to mark the end of our combat mission. that night i told the american people at all our troops would be out of iraq by the end of the following year. at the time i know some folks did not believe me, they were skeptical. some thought the and the combat was just word games and semantics, but i meant what i said.
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so you kept training those iraqi forces, we remove nearly 150,000 troops, and this past december, under general leadership, the last american troops came home, including the fourth brigade, here from bliss. you left iraq with honor, your mission complete, your head held high. after nine years, the war in iraq was over. today, iraq has a chance to forge its own destiny. there are no american troops fighting and dying in iraq. on this anniversary, we honor the memory of all who gave their lives there.
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nearly 145,000 patriots. we salute all who served there. when i was here two years ago, i told you something else. that we had more work to do, including taking the fight to al qaeda. and there, too, i meant what i said. with allies and partners, we have taken out more top al qaeda terrorists than at any time since 9/11, and thanks to the courage of our forces, al qaeda is on the road to defeat and bin laden will never again threaten the united states of america. [applause] two years ago, i also told you that we would keep up the fight in afghanistan. i know some of you recently got back. on behalf of a grateful nation, welcome home. some of your buddies are in
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afghanistan right now, and our thoughts and prayers are with all the troops from bliss deployed around the world, including afghanistan. the war eagles and the highlanders. i know some of you will be deployed later this year. i have to tell you the truth, this is still a very tough fight. you know this. you carry it in your hearts, the memory of comrades who made the ultimate sacrifice, including six heroes here from bliss who gave their lives on that awful day last month. i just had the opportunity to meet with some of our gold star families. our message to them was this. your loved ones live on in the soul of our nation. we will honor them always. because of their sacrifice, because of your service, we pushed the taliban back. we are training afghan forces.
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the transition to have and lead is under way, and as promised, more than 30,000 of our troops will have come home by next month. just as in iraq, we will end the war responsibly. next year, afghan will take the lead for their own security. in 2014, the transition will be complete. even as this war ends, we will stay vigilant until afghanistan is never again a source for attacks against america. never again. [applause] so we are not just ending these wars, we are doing it in a way that keeps america safe, and makes america stronger. and that includes our military. think about it.
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four years ago, there were some 180,000 american troops in iraq and afghanistan. by next month, we will have cut that number by nearly two- thirds. so most of our troops have come home. and as more afghans step up, more of our troops will come home. and what does that mean for you? well, after 10 years of continuous operations, it means fewer deployments, it needs more time for training, more time to improve readiness, more time to prepare for the future. and it needs more time on the home front with your families. your spouses and your kids. make no mistake, ending the war is responsibly makes us safer, and it makes our military even stronger. and ending these wars it is letting us do something else. restore american leadership. if you or anyone would try to
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say that america is in decline or that our influence has waned, don't you believe it. here is the truth. our alliances have never been stronger. we are leading on behalf of freedom, including standing with the people of libya that are finally free from muammar gaddafi. around the world there is a new attitude toward america. new confidence in our leadership. when people are asked, which country do you admire most? one nation always comes out on top. the united states of america. [applause] and that is the progress that we have made, thanks to your incredible service. we are winding down a decade of war, we are destroying terrorist networks that attacked us, and we have restored american leadership. today, every american can be
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proud that the united states is safer, the united states is stronger, and the united states is more respected in the world. when i was here last, i made you a pledge. i said, as president, i would insist that america serve you and your families as well as you have served us. and there again, i meant what i said. part of ending war responsibly is caring for those who fought in them. that is why i wanted to come back on this anniversary to reaffirm our solemn obligation to your families. you see, we may be turning a page on a decade of war, but america's responsibilities to you have only just begun. hey. i hear you. [laughter] here is my pledge to you. in a world of serious threat, i
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will never have to take force to defend the united states or our interest. at the same time, i will only send you into harm's way when it is absolutely necessary, and when we do, we will give me the equipment and a clear mission and a smart strategy, and the support back home that you need to get the job done. we owe you that. [applause] with the end of the wars, our military will be leaner, but we will keep making historic investment to keep you the absolute best military in the world, bar none. the united states will always maintain our military superiority. in view we have the best trained, best lead, best equipped military in human history, and as commander in chief, i will keep it that way. [applause]
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by the way, you have been hearing folks out there trying to talk about the budget, trying to scare you. last year, congress pledged to find a plan to reduce the deficit, and they said if they could not agree, there would be big cuts across the board, including defense. understand nobody wants these cuts, and that is why congress threaten them, to force themselves to make the decision. but here is the thing. there is no reason those cuts should happen. folks in congress ought to come together and agree on a responsible plan that reduces the deficit and keep our military strong. that is what needs to happen. that is when you and your families deserve, and that is how we're going to keep america safe and strong and growing our economy at the same time.
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that is a pledge that we have to make to you. and just as we give you the best equipment and technology on the battlefield, we need to give you the best support and care when you come home. we just had a round table with some soldiers and their families, talking about how coming home can be its own struggle. especially for our wounded warriors. so we've poured tremendous resources into this effort, unprecedented support for our troops with traumatic brain injury. for our troops and veterans with ptsd. more counselors, clinicians, more care, more treatment. i know you have been a leader on this here at bliss, making it clear that everyone here has a responsibility to help a comrade who is hurting. today, we are taking another step. i signed a new executive order to give our troops, veterans,
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and our families better access to mental health care. [applause] we are going to increase the number of folks manning those crisis hot lines, so help is there when you need it most. we are ready to add even more counselors and mental health providers. we are launching a new awareness campaign starting tomorrow. and i am directing a new task force to find out what works best, so we are doing everything we can to help those in need and save lives. i know that you join me in saying to everyone who has ever worn the uniform, if you are hurting, it is not a sign of weakness to seek help. it is a sign of strength. we are here to help you stay strong, army strong. that is a commitment i am making to you. [applause]
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and we are going to keep taking care of our remarkable military families, too. this is something i care deeply about, but even if i did not, i would have no choice, because michelle would tell me what to do. [laughter] along with michelle and dr. jill biden, they have been doing everything they can to get civilians involved in this process, not just our government. so today, more people all across america are joining forces to give our military families the respect and support that they deserve, and that is especially important right now. this may be a political season and folks may be arguing about all sorts of things, but one thing that we americans are united on is our support for you. only 1% of americans may wear the uniform, but 100% of americans need to be supporting anwhen you take off that unifor, we are going to help you fully
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participate in our economy. every single one of you has defended the american dream for the rest of us, and every one of you deserves the chance to live the american dream yourselves. and that includes jobs worthy of your incredible talents. and by the way, it is not just good for you, it is good for the country. after a decade of war, the nation we need we need to be rebuilding in the united states of america. [applause] and all of you have the skills that america needs. so with a million more of you joining civilian life in the years ahead, we are upping our game, at every stage of your careers. we have overhauled the transition assistance program, creating a reverse to camp as
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you service, to help you find a job or pursue that degree or start a business. hopefully, this will be one boot camp that you actually like. we will keep helping you, and your family, pursue your education under the post-9/11 bill. and by the way, we are cracking down on those schools that have been trying to take your money, and then rip you off by not giving you the education you paid for. that needs to stop. we are going to bring an end to that. [applause] we are going to keep hiring our newest veterans in the federal government, and in communities as police officers and firefighters and first responders, and because we passed tax credits, more businesses can hire veterans and wounded warriors.
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we are making it easier for you to transfer your outstanding military skills to the credentials you need to get that civilian job. if you have been a medic in theater, you should not have to start with nursing 101, if you decide to go into the medical profession here in the united states. if you were a mechanic on a multimillion-dollar piece of equipment, you should not have to come back and start all over again to work on a car here in the united states. and maybe you have heard, last year, i challenge the private sector to hire or train 100,000 veterans or military spouses. last week, michelle was able to announce that patriotic companies across america have actually exceeded that goal ahead of schedule with 125,000 jobs. [applause] but we still have more work to do. today, i am again calling on congress to act.
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they have some work they need to do. pass the veterans jobs corps. so we can put more vets to work protecting and rebuilding america, extend tax credits to businesses that hire our veterans, and i say to every company in america, if you want somebody who knows how to get the job done, if you want somebody who is going to make you proud, just like they made america proud, then hire a vet. hire a vet. [applause] after fighting for america, you should not have to fight for a job in america. [applause] to team bliss, these are america's commitments, to you and all those that serve. because we need to be there for you just like you were there for us. not just this year or next, but for all the years that come.
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that is the lesson of a soldier i have the honor to meet last time i was in afghanistan, visiting some of our wounded warriors in the hospital at bagram. sgt. chase is 22 yea old. this past spring, he was with his team when their vehicle got hit by an ied, the day that i flew in. when i arrived at his hospital room, he and his buddies were all in pretty bad shape. he was certainly in bad shape. his leg was broken, and back was fractured. he was laying there on his bed, he was under a lot of medication. his face was swollen, his eyes were shut. at first, i attitude was i did not want to disturb him. i thought he was sleeping. the doctors said, no, i think he can understand what you are
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saying even if he cannot acknowledge it. he would appreciate you being by his side. eileen dim and i told him how proud i was of him and how proud the country was of him and how we would be praying for his recovery. and i was turning to leave and then something happened. there was a wrestling under his blanket. chase never opened his eyes, could not make a sound, but suddenly, you saw the blanket left, and his arm came out, and he shook my hand. a firm, army handshake. i do not think there was a dry eye in that room. a few months later i was visiting our wounded warriors at walter reed and i walked around the corner, and who is there but chase. he had endured multiple surgeries. he had persevered through physical therapy. but this time, he was on his
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feet. he was walking again. he had his dad next to him. he is back with his unit. it made me think, that is just one moment in the life of one american soldier. it captures the spirit, the resilience, the tenacity, the discipline, the resolve, the patriotism of all of you. you have served under the dark cloud of war. you have endured great loss. we americans are strong. we are resilient.
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we have resolved. now we can see a light of a new day on the horizon. that is because of you. the war in iraq is over. the transition is underway in afghanistan. our troops will keep coming home. we're keeping our military ready for whenever the future holds. we are moving forward stronger and more confident knowing that when faced with great trials, we americans do what we always do. we emerged stronger than before. as we go forward as one nation, if the american people need inspiration, and they need only to look at you. in you, we see the best that our country has to offer. the values that will keep us great for centuries to come. the belief that all men are created equal, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. it is the sense of duty that says our country and our
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freedoms are worth fighting for. i do not care who gets the credit, but i will do my part and we will get the job done. the trust in one another knowing when the chips are down, the person next to you has your back, and you have theirs. coming together, succeeding together as one american team, that is to you are, that is who we are. we are americans. we pledge allegiance to the same flag. the hope, the opportunity, and we stand united in support of
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our troops and your families. when we stand together and we work together, we take care of each other and remind ourselves that there is nothing we cannot do. america's greatest days are yet to come. we remain the greatest force of freedom to the world has ever known. god bless you. god bless all of our men and women in uniform and god bless the united states of america. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ >> now, republican presidential candidate mitt romney and paul ryan, who spoke following the republican national convention. this is about 20 minutes. >> the next vice president of the united states, paul ryan, and the next president of the united states, mitt romney. [applause] ♪
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>> thank you so much. it feels good. what a great convention. i want to take a moment. let's put the people of the phillipenes in our thoughts. prayers where
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they need to be, for the philippines and those in isaac's wake. coming out of tampa, we have given our fellow countrymen a very clear choice. we can either stay on the path that america has been placed upon by barack obama, or we can get people back to work. the way to do this is to elect mitt romney the next president of the united states. president obama made a lot of promises when he ran for president.
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we see a laundry list of broken promises. 23 million people are struggling to find work today. 1.8%. house is under water and the highest poverty rate in generations. people are not working in the field that they studied for. they should not look up at fading posters for barack obama asking when they can get on with their lives. the president was recently asked if he would have done anything differently. he needs to do more talking and
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we need to do better listening? what is missing is real leadership in the white house. the question is this. if we stay with the same leadership, that we have the last four years, what will we do over the next four years. that is why we give the country a real choice. i have rarely seen a moment,
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where they did so well -- this country needs leadership. last night, we saw a man bring us into his family. we saw a man of faith and integrity and achievement. this is leadership. this is a man, when his country asked him to help turn around, they turn this around and made us all proud by saving the olympics from disaster. he is a proven job creator. he turned around the struggling businesses, and being good at -- being good in business is a good thing.
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this is the american dream. the record of contrast could not be more stark. mitt romney looked across the aisle and did not demonize people on the other side. he lowered the unemployment rate. he improved the credit rating of massachusetts. what have we seen under the leadership of barack obama? higher unemployment. take-home pay is down by $4,000 over the last four years. this is our moment and this is a chance where we have a choice. do we want failed leadership and a stagnant economy. do we want that opportunity. we want them to find happiness
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for themselves. this is the future. i want to thank the people of florida for their warm hospitality. warm in many ways. we have this rule in wisconsin, if you turn 65 you have to move to florida. it is really an honor right here, to introduce you to the man who is leading the moment. he has proven that he knows how to lead. we'll get this done and we will getwe are going to turn the american idea back on. we are going to save this for the next generation. we are going to elect the next president. his name is mitt romney.
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he is going to be the next president of the united states. >> thank you so much. what a welcome. what a sendoff. you guys are great. thank you. it is an honor to be here. you really have touched our hearts, my heart, and paul and agenda. .- and paul's you made this a special week for us, and coming out and supporting us. many of us are commenting on one of the speeches i will never forget. that was by the lady in red, but here. i mentioned in my remarks last night that one of the things i wished i could do would be to wake up with a pile of kids on
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my floor in the morning, or go to bed at night with our kids coming in and talking to us about their problems, five little boys. i got back to my hotel room, and my daughter-in-law said, "we can arrange that." without further ado, he best mom, wife, and grandma and no, my sweetheart, -- i know, my sweetheart, ann romney. >> thank you for coming out. i want to say what i said in my speech. i hear voices. we have an awesome responsibility now. i am pleased to know i have a guy standing next to me that has done amazing things in his life. he has turned around difficult situations. he has brought economic prosperity where it was thought impossible.
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we need to give america a chance. it is going to be an exciting ride. florida is going to have to help us bring it home. thank you all so much. >> she is something else. i will tell you. you have great people here. i so much appreciate -- and some of the people i want to recognize today are your next senators. there is a great guy over there, soon to be senator, connie mack. crowd: usa! usa! >> i also want to thank your
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congressman, dennis ross. dennis, thank you for being here. i want to thank my chairman of my campaign here in florida. it is great to have adam putnam here, your agriculture commissioner. and my other chair person, your great attorney general, he him monday. i know they were out here speaking a moment ago -- attorney general, pam bundy. i think florida. i need to have you do the work that gets me elected the next president of the united states. that has to happen here in florida. for that to happen, you are going to have to go out and find a person or two who voted for barack obama. i know they are here. they are not as visible as they used to be. you can see some of the glue on the back of their bumper sticker, where it used to be. you can find them.
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find them and convince them to get on our team and help us. we want to be held accountable for the promises we made last night and the night before. paul ryan and i both spoke to the american people about what we will do if we become president and vice president. i contrast that with what the president said for years ago, when he was candid that barack obama. he made promises in denver, hit with three columns behind him. -- with greek columns behind him. he doubled the deficit. he said he would be measured in a different way, measured by whether he created jobs or not. he has not. he said he would be measured by whether people would have rising incomes. they do not. incomes are down. he said he would be measured by whether people would take the risk to start a business. we are at a 30-year low in new
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business start-ups. almost every measure he described, he has failed to perform upon. the reason is not that he was trying. he was pulling in the wrong direction. he did not know what it takes to make the economy work. paul ryan and i understand the economy. we will reach across the aisle and find good people who, like us, want to make sure this company deals with its challenges. we will get america on track again. [applause] and we have laid out -- you have heard it many times. a five. plan to get this country going. we are going to go after these things. measure us. hold us accountable. do the same with the president. you are making a choice. who is the person? who are the people who will leave this -- and lead this country? you heard the last the running for president. he laid out what he was going to
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do. hold him accountable. let me tell you what i want to do. i want to make sure that every person in this country that wants a job can find one. i want to make sure that every retiree knows their retirement is secured, that medicare is there, and the social security will be there. of what every parent who know their child would get an education -- i want every parent to know their child would get an education for the jobs of tomorrow. we are going to get american energy independent, by using our oil, our call, our gas, and our nuclear facilities. we are going to open trade in latin america and around the world. will crack down on any country like china that sheets on trade. we are going to make sure people
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who need work have the skills they need to succeed, and the kids coming along get the education they need. for that to happen, we have to put our kids first. we have to say, we are going to help you. we are going to get america on track to have a balanced budget, by cutting the deficit. we are going to champion small business. small business is where the great majority of jobs are in this country. we are not going to raise taxes on small business. we are not going to expand regulation. we are going to take off the cloud of doubt that hangs over every small business. we are going to repeal and replace obamacare. [applause]
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last night, you got to know me a little better, with some friends that talked about my life, the things that have been part of my life in the past. i talked to you a little bit about my family. i was embarrassed, time to time, with the nice things that were said. people were overly generous. we got to know paul a little better. this is a man of real character, a man who has done something unusual in washington. he has focused on helping america, not trying to get himself reelected. because of that, he has won by larger and larger margins. in a democrat district, he wins and wins. a terrific leader. he will be a terrific buys president. -- vice president. i recognize in this crowd of people who have served the country in a way most of us cannot imagine.
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they are individuals who served in our armed forces. i recognize a man from the american legion, a man from the u.s. navy. will our veterans raise their hands and be recognized? thank you, sir. thank you. [applause] it is one of the things i love about this great state of florida, which is our veterans, who come here, our men and women in uniform, who have served here and come from this great state. we have another special request to ask of you. you know that. you gave me the nomination with your votes. you come up to date to support us. the convention today was a magnificent opportunity for us to share our message with the american people, thanks to folks in florida. we need you to get out there and get your friends to vote. we are not going to say vote early and vote often, as they do in some states.
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get your friends to vote. call people to the polls that might not be planning to get to the polls. we need every single vote in florida. who proved it before. florida can be of very close election. i do not know how it is going to work out, but i plan to win in florida. we are going to get our country back. we love this country, and we are taking it back. thank you guys. thank you. [music: "born free"] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> following the morning rally at the airport in florida, republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan flew to virginia, for a campaign rally in richmond with house majority leader eric cantor. this is just over 20 minutes. ♪ ♪
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crowd: usa! usa! >> thank you. ♪ >> thank you. thank you. are you ready to win? do you believe in america? that is why we are all year. i cannot tell you how great it is to see it such a terrific crowd on this hot day in richmond, virginia. virginia, we're going to win. i have the distinct honor and pleasure today to introduce to you, not only just a colleague, but it's a very dear friend.
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i have had the pleasure and honor of knowing paul ryan for over a decade. i have had the experience of knowing him when he worked and when he works and when he works. he can play a little, but he is a hard worker. this guy, we served on the ways and means committee together, this is the committee that is central to trying to get our economy going. paul ryan, since he came to washington, was dedicated for the right reasons, for the right cause, not just for himself, but for the people he represents to turn this country around and to take america back.
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we have had the pleasure of getting to know his lovely wife, who is an accomplished partner and their beautiful family. let's give all of them a hand. of course, we would not be here today if it were not for betty, paul's mom. we love you. i know he is a man of family, faith, and he is a man dedicated for the right reasons, believing in america am, believing that we can succeed. as mitt romney said last night, we have a ticket. mitt romney, paul ryan, a ticket that is dedicated to help small businesses.
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dedicated to helping all of you men and women to put people back to work. to make life work for families across virginia, and across america. please join me in giving my good friend a warm virginia welcome, the next vice president of the united states, paul ryan. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you very much. we love you, too, man. how about this guy? man. you not only have one of my closest friends in congress as your congressman, you not only have a principle spirited leader, you have the leader of the house of representatives as your congressman, eric cantor. you are very blessed. virginians are blessed. you have this great governor, bob mcdonnell. you have this great attorney general. you have this great lieutenant governor. and you are going to get this great senator back, george allen.
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this is the first rally we are kicking off after tampa. 67 days to go. we wanted to come here to richmond. i bring greetings on behalf of mitt. mitt is in louisiana meeting with victims of the hurricane, bringing attention to those who are in isaac's path. make sure people send their dollars to the red cross and the charities. there are people there who need our help. how about last night? did mitt romney not show us the direction for the country? i do not want to bore you by saying the same thing over again, but it bears repeating. if we stay on the same path, we will get more of the same results. lookit where president obama has taken our economy. 23 million people struggling to
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find jobs. the poverty rate in america is the highest it has been in a generation. half of all college graduates are unemployed or not working in the field they studied for. the president has put us on a path of decline, debt, doubt. here is the good news. we can fix this by electing mitt romney. [applause] president obama came into office during troubling times. he likes to remind us of that quite a bit. here's the problem. he made things much worse. knowing this, the president cannot run on his record. it is a terrible record. what does he have left? he is going to have to distort cut divide, demagogue anything
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but what we actually did this last four years, because it's a bad track record. here is what we're asking you to do. we want to earn your support. we want to deserve victory. we want to show you if we put the right ideas in place by electing the right leaders, we can get this country back on track again. if we can get people back to work again. if we can get the american dream again. the president was asked recently, looking back these last four years, any mistakes, doubts, or regrets? he said, yes, i have not communicated enough. i need to tell the american people a story.
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as if that is our problem. he needs to talk more? and we need to be better listeners? ladies and gentlemen, our problem is not that we have not heard enough words in the white house -- our problem is we have not had enough leadership and the white house. these are trying times. we are at the proverbial fork in the road. we have a choice of two futures. what you need in a moment like this, when our economy is in doubt, when a debt crisis looms on the horizon, you need leadership. it's plaguing europe. our children are facing a diminished future. you need principled leaders. that is exactly what mitt romney is. you were getting to know this man like the rest of us know him.
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you're getting to know a decent man, a faithful man, an honorable man. a man who, in everything he has done in his life, exemplified leadership. a man of achievement, integrity. take all look at what he did in his private life. by the way, being successful in business is a good thing, not a bad thing. [applause] we don't look at other people's success would envy, we look at it with pride. we don't resent people's success. we want to emulate people's success. this man started small businesses, this man grew businesses. sports authority, bright horizons, staples. this man turned around struggling businesses with an astounding degree of success. tens of thousands of people got jobs as a result. i am proud to stand with a man like that.
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i am proud to stand with the man who knows that if you have a small business, you did build that business. [applause] take a look at what this man did when leadership called. he was in massachusetts running businesses, creating jobs, and the olympics was in trouble. the olympics was plagued with a scandal, corruption, wasteful spending. sounds kind of familiar. they asked this man to help takeover. he did that. he dropped what he was doing and he moved for three years to utah. he turned around the u.s. olympics. we are all the better for it. we're proud of that moment. look at the difference and leadership and results between president obama as president and mitt romney as governor of massachusetts. under president obama, the
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credit rating of the united states of america has been downgraded for the first time in our history. as governor of massachusetts, mitt romney saw the credit rating of the state was upgraded. families in america over the last four years have lost an average of $4,000 in family income. under mitt romney in massachusetts, it went up $5,000. remember when president obama used to talk about, we do not have read states or blue states, we are just the united states. we will set aside childish things and work together? this is the most partisan president, most partisan atmosphere we have ever dealt with. nothing is getting done because of partisanship. when mitt romney was governor of massachusetts, 87% of legislators in the government of massachusetts were democrats.
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what did he do? he did not demonize, he did not demagogue. he worked with people. he treated people with respect. he balanced the budget without raising taxes. that is leadership. that is focusing on results. the historians say there are four essential qualities that make for a great leader. four essential qualities that history proves are the kinds of people you need to lead these moments principles. a person with a moral compass, a vision for the country, and a person who has the experience and leadership skills to execute that vision. that is mitt romney in a nutshell. [applause]
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we're not just going to go to you and say, vote against the other guy because he is no good. we could do that because the record is no good. we want to do more than that. you deserve more than that. we're offering solutions, specific ideas, here is how you take these principles that built america, liberty, freedom, free enterprise, determination. the government works for us, not the other way around. [applause] it is the virginians who gave us this doctrine. mitt romney and i have a five point plan for a stronger middle-class come up for more jobs, for higher take-home pay, for more economic growth, prosperity and opportunity. virginia, of all people who ought to understand this, it is right here in virginia.
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this is coal country. we have a lot of energy in this country. let's use that energy. coal, gas, oil, all the above. there are some me people who are in between jobs. there are so many people who have lost jobs. they need skills, they need to have a good education system so they can get back on their feet. that is incredibly important. we also have to remember that in america, with most of the world's population in other countries, we need to grow more things and make more things and sell them overseas. we have to have good trade so that people treat us fairly.
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we wish we had partners in the senate, but we do not. what we have been working on is this. we have got to stop spending money we just do not have. we've got to cut spending. this is mortgaging our children's future. the senate has not passed a budget and three years. it is a disgrace. it's an abdication of responsibility. president obama gave us budgets and no solution to make sure we can guarantee of medicare. no solution to guarantee promises to our seniors. to make sure we can guarantee these promises are kept. no solution to guarantee that our children inherit a debt free nation. we will provide the leadership to guarantee that happens. [applause] let's never forget that in virginia, in wisconsin, in all the states across the country, the engine of economic growth were most of our jobs come from our from those men and women to start and run and create small
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businesses. that is where jobs come from. president obama is guaranteeing, he is promising, that the top tax rate goes above 40% in january. eight out of 10 businesses in america paid their taxes as individuals and they have a huge tax increase coming. overseas, where i come from, it means lake superior, countries like canada just lower their tax rate on all of their businesses to 15%. how one earth are we going to compete when president obama wants to tax them over 40%? our competitors are down at 15%. what is worse, he wants to take this money from families, take this money from successful small businesses, and spend it in
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washington. if borrowing and spending and regulating and dictating and determining winners and losers worked, we would be entering the golden age along with greece. if the copy europe economics, we will get those results. this is more than just that. this is more than recognizing the fine man that mitt romney is. this is more than recognizing that we're on a very dangerous path. this is about determining the kind of country we're gong to have for a long time. this is about determining the kind of people we will be for a generation. this is that kind of election. it does not matter how old you are or what generation to come from, this is the most important generation in your lifetime.
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it's the most importantlection in your lifetime. excuse me. it really comes down to who are we, what are we all about to? if you had to put it in a nutshell, and virginians know this because a virginian wrote this, america is not just the place, it is an idea. it is the only country founded on an idea. that great a virginian, thomas jefferson said it better than anyone could have said. president obama needs reminding sometimes. our rights, they come from nature and god and not from government. that is who we are. that is the american ideal. that is what this is all about. crowd: usa! usa!
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>> that is the meaning and definition of the american idea. if we get that, the rest falls in place. this is the commitment we are making to our fellow citizens. we are going to give you a choice. you will decide what you want this country to be. when we earn and deserve victory, then we have the moral authority and the mandate to make it right. we'll get this country back on the right track. [applause] we will not duck the tough issues and kick the can down the road. we will lead. [applause]
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with partners like this in congress and with new leaders you will send, we will not spend four years blaming other people. we will take responsibility. we will not try to transform this country into something it was never intended to be. this country was created by our founders. it was secured every generation by our veterans, and we thank them. that meanswe will not replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles. we can do this. together, we can do this. we can get the country back on the right track. we can get people working again. we will bring real leadership back to the white house. we can get this done with your help. we can get this done.
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thank you very much, everybody. god bless all of you. thank you very much. [music: born free] >> how about this guy, bob mcdonnell? thank you, everybody. >> our road to the white house coverage continues tomorrow, when republican presidential candidate mitt romney speaks at a rally in cincinnati. you can see it here. >> the democratic national convention committee has unveiled the convention staged in charlotte, north carolina. charlotte mayor anthony foxx and
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committee chairman steve kerrigan gave a tour for the students from the school for the death, -- for the deaf, and spoke about transforming the convention hall. >> good morning, everybody. thank you guys so much for coming. i am steve kerrigan, chief executive officer at the democratic national convention committee. it is with pride and excitement that we welcome you here to the 2012 democratic national convention. in just seven weeks, the sports arena has been transformed into a world-class facility that will cost nearly 6000 delegates and thousands of guests and visitors, not to mention thousands of members of the media.
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we have said from the beginning that this will be the most open and accessible convention in history, one that will engage more americans than ever before. if delivering on that mission begins and ends with our partners in charlotte. this event today, kicking off this open house, will help us think our friends and neighbors, think the city for their incredible hospitality and partnership. now, we are joined by students from the north carolina school for the deaf, as well as cleanup participants from around the region and the country. we are excited to have you with us, so welcome. later, we will welcome other students and numbers of the community for an exclusive first look at this arena. thank you all for welcoming us to your city. i moved here in june of 2011. it is amazing to see this coming together. we are just a few days away
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from official proceedings beginning on tuesday, september 4, with michelle obama, the first lady of the united states. september 5, we have bill clinton and others. our great keynote speaker, the mayor of san antonio, and others will be taking to the stage. they will talk about the president's vision for the next four years. the screens behind me will allow them to deliver that message in a visually engaging way, both to the people in the arena and the millions watching at home or on line. today is really exciting for me. i started working on convention planning almost three years ago. i moved here, as i said, last june, to oversee this process. it is hard for me to thank so
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many people who have worked tirelessly on this. i would like to thank, first and foremost, our staff, and our partners at the host committee here in charlotte, for all their incredibly hard work to make to the possible. it really has been an amazing ride. i thank our construction management and his partners, and so many others, event sphere, neighboring concepts, and other great partners. i also want to thank the executive producer. he has become a great friend to all of us, and does an incredibly good job with the production you will see over the next several days, into next week. we could not be more proud than to have a great partner like ricky and his entire team, who have worked tirelessly to make sure of the stage is ready to go and has the look and feel we need to convey the proper messages for the president.
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some of you were here last september, when we had our kickoff. more than 2000 members of the public were here. today, we have come full circle as we represent the end of convention planning, and the kickoff of festivities. the doors of the arena, as they were a year ago, are thrown open to the public, part of our upper to make sure the public is as much a part of this convention as we are. while we only received the keys to the arena seven weeks ago, this has been a longstanding partnership. on behalf of the entire convention staff, and want to thank everybody for everything they have done to get us to this important milestone. with that, i am honored to welcome another great partner, a man without whom -- this is not hyperbolic at all -- without whom we would not to be here. his leadership led to an incredible bid for the city of charlotte to host this
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convention. the man whose leadership throughout the course of the last year and a half, since we secured the convention here in charlotte, has been flawless and endless, inexhaustible, and whose friendship i have really grown to enjoy, and i hope will enjoy a quite a while. he is a remarkable leader not just here in charlotte and north carolina, but across the united states of america. your mayor, anthony foxx. [applause] >> thank you for that kind introduction. we will of course continue to be great friends over the next several years, including 2016, when you can come back. the excited about that. -- be excited about that. you really have been an incredible partner. i am excited. as we get closer to the opening
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day of the convention, you can already feel the excitement in our community. you can see and feel the energy, even in this room. when i look at how this room has been transformed into a convention hall, i know the queen city will put on a first- rate 2012 democratic national convention. that is exciting. as i travel around the carolinas, i also feel the excitement. the city has been gearing up for this convention for more than two years. the enthusiasm from those in charlotte continues to be palpable. in just four days, this arena is going to be packed. this will be an international platform like never before. and we will put our best foot forward. our city is a city on the move, a city that makes great things possible.
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that is the tagline our local host committee has adopted. we are filled with innovative businesses, a burgeoning world energy capital, and a community that comes together to make great things possible for its citizens. time warner cable arena is charlotte's arena. being here today makes me proud to see the finished product, knowing most of the work that transform this into a convention hall was done by local companies and local workers. their first-class work will be seen by tens of thousands of people in this arena, and by millions of people across the world. from day one, we in charlotte knew this convention would come with tremendous economic opportunities. more importantly, we knew our homegrown talent, and the capabilities of our people to take advantage of these
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prospects, were great. when our convention guests leave, and head out to our diverse and vibrant communities, they will find a city filled with wonderful places to eat and entertain. i am really excited. today marks the beginning of the world's introduction to charlotte. now, i would like to turn it over to the chief operating officer of the dnc, who has worked around the clock to make to the possible. steve is another person without whom we would not be here today. he will tell you why. thank you. >> thank you, mr. mayor. good morning to all of you, and thank you again for joining us today.
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seven weeks ago, i knew we had an ambitious time line, but our staff and construction management team, we knew, would rise to the occasion. as you see, they have transformed this arena into a world-class convention hall. our construction management partnership with hargrove, hunt construction, h.j. russell, and neighboring concepts have worked hard to transform this arena. they finished the behind-the- scenes infrastructure changes necessary for us and the media. their work has become the backbone of the convention hall. on top of that, he is the stage to see. it is the product of the fantastic work of our production team, led by the executive producer.
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they have taken the lead on designing the stage and podium, bringing to bear decades of experience in producing world- class live events. bruce rodgers is our production designer. this innovative design is the first end-zone configuration in a generation. the speaker can be surrounded by three sides on delegates. the stage is smaller to fit into the space, but it brings the speaker closer to the audience. we have built the stage with materials and technology that will be reused over and over again, trying to conserve the resources available to us. the array of screens you have seen this morning to give us a blank canvas on which to amplify the message of speakers. all of this is possible because of the city of charlotte and the bobcats organization, our landlords and fantastic partners at the arena.
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this is their home. we promised to treat it well and return it the way we found it. thank you again for joining us today. i would like to hand it back over to steve. >> thank you. thank you, theo. a word about theo. theo was one of our first hires and back in washington, before we even moved to charlotte. he think about how to fill the president's vision to make this the most open and accessible convention in history, to put more americans in the arena and have them participate in this convention. i think the way he described this stage is brilliant, because it does exactly that. every aspect is focused on that.
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he and his team have done a remarkable job on that. i want to say one word about our landlords, the bobcats, if they are here. we really love you guys. they are great. the-one of the most welcoming arena partners i have met in my life. we are thrilled to have such great friends within the organization, and such great leadership up the top. we are grateful for all the work they have done to make today possible. with that, i will take questions. i think the first is from one of the students. >> because the president is coming here for the convention, why is he required to come? >> that is a good question. it is not necessarily required
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to, but he is required to accept the party nomination. in the political process, there are two different -- right now, we have two major parties, the republican party and the democratic party. they each get a chance every four years to determine who to put on the ballot to be president, so people can vote for them. every state and the district of columbia and puerto rico have the opportunity to cast ballots all year long. everybody gets to go and vote in their state for a particular person. that narrows it down. we picked, this time, barack obama to be our nominee. all of the states did it together. they are all here collectively. they are coming to represent all of the people, all of the democrats -- we hope more people in north carolina.
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they are all here to say, "we stand with barack obama for the nomination." you will see all these different states. you see desks with microphones. that is where they will stand and say, "our state supports barack obama to be president." that is the nomination. he gains the nomination of our party. without that, he cannot be on the ballot, and he cannot be president again. which of course want that. we have to go through this process so every american and every democrat has a voice in the process. when they get here, these people represent the democrats who voted throughout the primary caucus process, to come to charlotte to vote for the democratic nominee for president. in eight weeks, we hope everyone
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in the country votes for who should be the next president, barack obama. we come here to give him the nomination. he comes here simply to say thank you, and tell everybody what he would like to do if he were elected president of the united states. he would have four more years to fulfill his wishes for the country, and how he wants to move our country in the right direction. he will explain that to everybody. it is an opportunity for everyone here and on television, and watching online, to see that and understand his goals for the country. it is the culmination of a lot of voting that took place over a long time. he will lay out his vision for the next four years. that is a very good question. thank you. i feel bad. you stood the entire time. next question?
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>> what images, what themes, do you hope people at home get? how did you do the stage to make sure that happened? >> a lot of this is a production for people here in this room, but we also work with our friends who will be up in those broadcast booths, to make sure the message is getting out to households across the country. we are also on eight different digital media platforms, so that folks who do not just watch network television to get their news can access speeches and watched live streaming video of what is going on. our hope is that all we do in here will be conveyed to people at home, whether through our friends in the television media or through radio, or digital media as well. we hope, but if you are not here, you will get gavel-to-
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gavel coverage. folks who cannot come in here but want to see every aspect of the convention can watch that as well. >> what message do you want them to take away from your production? >> we will let the campaign speak to the messages of the campaign. we are going to do another student. is that ok? to engage youth in the democratic convention, we will continue a lot of the work we have been doing over the last year and a half, engaging folks from all over the country. we announced we were coming to charlotte with an e-mail from the first lady.
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she sought advice from folks about how we can use the convention to engage more americans. we got a huge input from young people around the world about how we can do this. the big piece was, and get us involved. give us opportunities to engage. we have done service projects around the community. we have a youth council that will open public meetings next week. we have youth components of the program, which i am sure you will enjoy next week. we have been engaging young people who do not necessarily sit in front of the television to watch news. we have been working with a digital media to engage folks. that is one of the fascinating things that changes every four years, the technology.
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it allows us to reach people where they get news. rather than making it incumbent on them to find us, so we can give them our message, we go to them. wherever they get their news, however they choose to engage -- we just want to celebrate that they are getting involved, feeling that the process i just laid out is important for our country, and particularly for our youth. we do everything we can to engage young people in this process. we have a requirement that there is a young delegate quotient. thank you guys for coming. i want to mention we have a second group of participants from all around the country.
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we are glad to welcome you all to charlotte. >> how many people from the public will go on the tour? how many will you be accommodating? >> it was thousands of people who sign up to come. the question was how many signed up to come to the open house today. thousands of people had. we are doing everything we can to accommodate as many folks as we possibly can. it was an impressive number, but it was not surprising for us. we had the open house and the year out party a year ago, and over 2000 people came on a dreary morning to pack the house. we will start with schoolchildren, who will come in shortly after 10:00. we tutored at a school last year, a lot of our staff members. they will join us and be one of the first schools to come through here this morning.
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there is going to be a lot of people coming through. we are excited. as the mayor said so well, this is charlotte's arena. we want people from all walks of life to see what we have done with it. i hope they know we are thrilled to have them as such a critical part of convention planning. >> this is going to be the most open and accessible convention in years past. specifically, how will it be open and accessible? what are you doing to make that happen? >> this is the first convention in history that begins and ends our week of convention with -- [mic scream] someone did not like your question. it begins and ends open to the public. it is so we can use monday,
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which is labor day, and kids get school off, as a day to engage families. you can talk to the host committee. it would give the opportunity for people who might not get a chance to participate. we are also having caucus and council meetings all week long, monday through thursday. all of them are open to the public. people can come and talk about a wide range of topics the democratic party wants to engage john. we do not just want to talk to each other. we want to talk to everybody else. we want to talk to the public. this convention is not a closed-door party-elite event.
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the president wanted this to be a convention that brought in the grass roots of our country and engaged them. our friends in tampa did a wonderful job with their convention. good for them. but that is a different type of convention. it is not one with the number one focus being how to engage more people. the speech will allow tens of thousands more americans to attend and witness a great moment in history. not just a moment for north carolina, where those who are used to going to panthers games will see the president and vice president accepting the nomination, but for everybody. it is a great, historic moment for our country, when somebody accepts the party nomination. that is exciting. and the eight digital media platforms is a huge aspect. we are reaching out to folks where they get their news and
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where they get their engagement. this convention floor should show you. we have almost 6000 delegates, more than twice as many as they had in tampa. it is the most diverse grass- roots group of delegates that either convention at either party has seen, because up has been our focus. that is the way you make change. that is the way you engage americans in what you are doing. we are doing important things next week, talking about the future of our country, and the direction we want our country to take. that is what we want as many americans involved in this as possible. that is why we are planning the most open and accessible convention ever. yes? >> some dimensions of what you are looking at back here? >> what is not important -- it
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is not how many pixels and how much this weighs. pardon? how tall is it? >> it is really, really tall, but not as tall as the ceiling. i think it is about 60 feet tall. it is not the facts and figures that are important. our creative team has brought together a lot of elements to create a canvas that allows the speaker to convey the messages of this convention, and brings the speaker closer to the audience. we do not spend a lot of time counting pixels or figuring out how much it weighs. we are trying to make it possible to deliver the message of this convention. >> next week, what coverage of
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the democratic convention, from charlotte, north carolina. every minute, every speech, live on c-span. next, a discussion of young and african american voters impact on the election. and and discussion with a marine corps commandant. >> the weekend before the start of the democratic national convention in charlotte, c-span brings you speeches from conventions past, from harry truman of 1948 to president obama in 2008. that begins saturday. >> travel to a double coverage of the democratic convention starts next week. every minute, every speech, live on c-span, and on line. featured speakers include the
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mayor of san antonio, and first lady michelle obama. wednesday, elizabeth warren and bill clinton. thursday, vice president joe biden and president barack obama. and use our convention hub to make them share video clips. >> we offered our people a new choice, based on all the years. which offer the opportunity. we demand responsibility. we will build community. the choice we offer is not conservative or liberal. in many ways, it is not even republican or democratic. it is new, and it will work. >> connect with other viewers. look on the website. >> howard university and morehouse college hosted a
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discussion thursday about the youth vote in 2012, with speakers representing republican and democratic point of view. the panel explore how social issues like gay marriage to an abortion might affect the youth vote as well as the african- american vote. they also talked about new state laws involving voter i.d., and changing voter registration requirements. this is about an hour and 45 minutes. >> good afternoon, everybody. good afternoon, everybody. thank you. thank you. i feel like i am about to announce the starting five, the starting lineup for the team. we have a good group of people backstage. i want to bring each of them out with a little bit of background of who they are. i will make a couple of remarks, and then we would get questions and statements. questions from up here. hopefully, you will be completely stimulated and excited and engage, and you will get up and ask questions
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also. we can have a good discussion. frankly, what we are here to talk about is you. we are talking about the generation that is going to be making the decision that will last the next couple of generations. we want you to be involved. the first person i am going to bring out is the host of the nationally syndicated richard fowler show. he is the advocacy director for the young democrats of america. he has been featured as a commentator on fox news, msnbc, a variety of international stations, and hosts a radio program. he is also a delegate to the 2012 democratic national convention, so we will be seeing him in charlotte next week. richard fowler. [applause] our next panelist, is lorenzo morris. he is the former chair of the
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department of political science at howard university. he held a chair at the university terrace. he is a consultant on public policy, and has talked previously at mit. he has been a research fellow with the brookings institute. he has worked with west africa and all of the united states. he was born in new york. he studied at oberlin and yale. thank you, dr. morris. next, i will bring up an old friend of mine. i used that purposely, because we are both now old. elroy sailor. he works in washington d.c., with j.c. watts. as ceo, he manages a team that operates the largest african
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american own lobbying firm, chaired by former congressman j.c. watts. he worked for the former governor of michigan, the senator of michigan, and a chief of staff of the house leadership conference. he is from detroit, michigan, and a graduate of morehouse college. thank you. next, robert sanders jr. he is counsel to the united states committee on the judiciary. he is of principal policy advisor to senator dick durbin of illinois. he chairs the committee on civil rights and human rights. he offers council on issues
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ranging from cyber security to campaign finance reform and civil rights. he was recently named on the 40 under 40 list. he earned his b.a. in political science from morehouse college in 2001. thereafter, he completed study at wharton business school, getting a law degree from the university of pennsylvania, where he was president in 2004. he is a member of the bar. [applause] anre washington is the student government association president of morehouse college. he is a passionate advocate for all students. one of his goals is achieving 100% voter registration on the college campus. he also has a focus on increasing student safety
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through partnerships with the atlanta city council, and the atlanta police department. thank you for being here. since we decided we could not have a panel entirely full of men -- as you will notice, we are heavy on the testosterone. coming up last, but certainly not least, she is your student government president here at howard, brittany foxhall. [applause] she is a junior international business major from detroit, michigan. a lot of detroit up here. i like that. she has served a leadership role in numerous organizations on and off campus. she is the team leader for the 21st century advantage program and active in the howard university student association. she also, represented howard in a council of student leaders from the metropolitan area.
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she interned for johnson and johnson corporation in the public service sector, and upon graduation plans to enter the peace corps to work on business management in underdeveloped nations. [applause] so, thank you all for being here. thank you, panel, for being here. i want to make a couple of remarks, as we get started. i have been doing this now, working in politics, for about 20 years. i started when i was sitting at morehouse college, in a group just like this. i was sitting on campus when bill clinton came, during the georgia campaign in 1992. someone handed me a flier and said, "the governor of arkansas will be talking. go listen." i did not think i would like him.
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he was a new democrat, sort of conservative. we thought maybe he was a republican and democrat clothing. the clinton was a conservative governor. he talked about all the things important to me. in 1992, we were in the middle of a recession. he was talking about getting the economy moving. he was talking about how grants and student loans, making sure people had health care. all these things that somebody on the verge of leaving college and going out into the world thought were important. what we have seen over the past few years is the growing influence of the younger generation in picking presidents. when you think about what happened in the last election, 2008 -- in 2008, president obama -- there were 130 million votes cast.
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the coalition was african americans, latinos, women, and young people. let us just look at the age demographic numbers, in particular. in 2008, 10% of the electorate was between 18 and 24. the last election, 2010, when republicans were able to recapture the house, 6% of the electorate was 18 to 24. 21% of the electorate was over the age of 65. when young people vote, they get to choose the leader that they want. when they do not vote, the have leaders chosen for them. this election is going to really hinge on the turnout of this generation.
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people may decide they do not want president obama anymore. but you should make that decision. do not let people make it for you. with that, i am going to go to our panel. since she was last, we are going to ask her to speak first. we will work our way through the panel for opening remarks, before we get to questions. >> hello. i am a senior international business major, currently serving as your president. i thought it was important our voice was heard today. as you know, this is a pivotal election year. we each play such a big role in what is going to happen. i think being engage and being a part of the election is so much more than going out to vote. as howard university students, as morehouse students, we are the premier university for african-americans. we are developing the leaders of tomorrow. we should be informed. we should make important decisions.
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we should know the platforms of the republican and democratic parties, so we can have informed conversations with our peers, and know what we are speaking about and voting for. that is what i want to speak about today. >> good afternoon. my name is anre washington. a special shout-out to the spellman ladies who are present. we have to be engaged. 2012 is a critical election. since president obama was elected, there have been significant actions to suppress the voice of our african- american youth, the elderly, those who trained elections. we are here to say, you may try to suppress this voice, but we will be heard.
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>> good afternoon, everyone. my name is robert sanders. i am on the council that advises thick durbin. i am glad to be here behind enemy lines. i am looking forward to talking today. i hope that we will talk a little bit about why it is important to vote. there are probably some young people, though not any in this room, who may be thinking, why is it important for me to vote? my vote does not matter that much. i will start by leaving you with this thought. there are plenty of millionaires and billionaires who are contributing to superpacs, and many nationally known political strategists who are trying to do everything they can to make it harder for people like those gathered in this room to vote.
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our committee has done an extensive set of hearings across the country. what they indicate is that it is harder for young people, minorities, seniors, disabled folks, and poor people to vote, because of laws being passed across the country. if you do not think your vote matters, all you have to do is what the folks in the opposition are doing. we will talk more about that today. >> good afternoon. thank you for having me here. thanks to the president of morehouse college in to howard university for hosting this forum. i am a father, a husband, a friend to as many as i can be. over the last 20 years or so, i have had an opportunity to see politics up close and personal, serving at the executive level at the state level, and serving at the legislature of the federal level. hopefully, i can share my experiences with you all.
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most importantly, now that i have them out of politics for almost 10 years, it is a different job. when you are in politics, your job is to market. you have a product. you have a candidate. you have ideas to market to a constituency, to try to move them from point a to point b. now, i just want to educate and try to share my experiences as i have gone through life. >> thank you, as a professor i can't help but make some fairly technical observations. but it's important to remember that it's almost a year to the day that the nation became aware of the grotesque and persistent inequalities that katrina showed us, that led i think to a national consciousness that the direction of the administration of the period wads not going correctly
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and led to oon attitude change toward that administration, encouraging two years later the success of obama and at the same time a reaction. that reaction gives us a special reason to think about electoral participation today. following that election, voting restrictions began to appear for the first time in legislatures and now they're all over. if you ever doubted how important it is for young people to vote, i can give you a number. beenust for a moment, i've threatened with microphone cut off if i talk too long, but to see the extent of the intent of sometimes a partisan nature, sometimes an ideological nature, of the intent to suppress the black vote and perhaps the liberal white vote as well. ohio was a critical state that
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push bush over in 2004 and there were 50,000 votes that made the difference. some say the poll evident was a chance to go from church to the polls. the secretary of state cut off voting on sunday. that way, you keep down some black voting. in pennsylvania, and you heard the g.o.p. say that by instituting restrictions on voting, mitt romney was going to be put in office. in florida they produced a list of 2,200 voters who were eligible to vote without voting. it threatened the access or fact of access for hispanic voters. there were numerous activities in those states that suggested a conscious disregard for free
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access to the vote has taken hold and the reaction to the process we felt from 2006 to a few years ago has been concerted. so the difference is that number which puts us over the top in terms of those people that want to retain the values that this country is supposed to support in terms of electoral participation, 61% is a good number. that is the estimated number of all voters, not just registered voters, needed to get obama re- elected. 61% is also the number of white voters needed to get romney elected. just one little point in this regard. in 2002, 2004, and 2008, youth voters, black and hispanic, went up almost 9% and that 1% difference if you just take that 1%, if obama gets more votes than ever before except last year he will lose if that 1% goes.
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that 1% is more than the 50,000 that carried ohio and a whole lot more than carried florida. so the vote may be in our hands. >> well, thanks for having me. i want to thank howard university and morehouse. the question is why vote? and i ask myself, why not vote? basically, if i could be frank, we're generation screwed. the reason why is because look at the statistics. most of us are graduating college with overwhelming amounts of student debt. most of us instead of buying an apartment, going out and living the american dream are moving back in with our parents and sleeping with our snoopy sheets. we are dealing with all the reasons why we should be the generation most apt to vote. this could be the most historic election of our time. if we saw what the capitol has done in the past two years to young people -- they objected to three million of us going back on our parents' health insurance, they've objected to keeping the rates on student loans low.
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they said if you want to go to college, shop around and get the best option. when has it been ok that you shop around for education? you should go to the best institution that your brain can get you to. that's why this election matters. if we don't turn out and our voice isn't heard, we will be generation screwed again. the reason for that is the older folks have run the country. the former president was part of the old guard and they drove us off the cliff and if we are stupid enough to let them drive us offer the cliff again or lower us into the ditch, i should say, we are going to be in a really, really bad situation. so it's more apparent than ever before in this election for us
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to come out and for young people to be beyond voting and tell others they should go vote, too. it's p just us. you need to bring five people to the polls, 10 people to the polls. your roommate, classmate, girlfriend, boyfriend. everybody needs to go to the polls so our voice may be heard. ofso we've heard a lot people talk about how young people should go vote. but i have always believed that people don't vote just because it's what you are supposed to do. i remember being at this point and people would say rosa parks sat down so you could stand up. that was interesting, a nice historical lesson, but what's going to drive young people to go vote? what particular things? like even one of these candidates, what makes the people in this room get up and go vote. >> i think the biggest thing,
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there are all sorts of points. i think it will depend on the student. it depends on your situation, what you come from that is going to influence you to go out and vote. but as a college student. the economy should hb the biggest concern of yours. we're going to be graduating and you are going to want a job. goinge said, you're not to go home and live at your parents' house. you want to be out on your own. that's why you came to get an education, so you can get a job, create a career, prosper, be out on your own. it scares college students to see that they're cutting financial aid, increasing tuition and it's hard for us to stay in school. and in the economy, it's so upsetting that it's still hard to get a job. that's my main concern. i think everybody is going to have a different concern depending on where they came from and what their focus us. do your research and find out what directly is going influence you to go out and vote.
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>> let's hear from anre. >> i guess my frustration with getting folks out to vote is it doesn't get much more challenging than what african- americans are facing right now. when it's the great recession, jour jobless numbers are double. it doesn't get much worse as far as black wealth disappearing in the real estate crash and with pa black businesses. we are in crisis. a lot of times people don't get it right until trouble knocks on their front door. so i implore students and everyone that we shouldn't play the zero sum game when it comes to elections. that's the mistake we make, that we show up on election day when it's something that strikes a nerve with us, or something
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that is emotional. we show up and then disappear for four years without realizing that there is a mid term election and if we blow people's phones up, local and state legislators, they respond. i would say, stay engaged. stay engaged. republicans have to respond to you just like democrats do. don't play the zero sum game and say if they're not who i wanted to win, i'm going to wash my hands of it and walk away. as students, don't sit down and observe. we are the current momentum in change in all periods. elections. we are the engine, we are the hope of the country, black, white, any other. i would implore you not to wait for it to get any worse because it already is bad enough. >> i'm not going to let you off the hook this easy. making it more personal. what is it you want as a person
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in school right now? what could a candidate say to you that would make you not only vote for them but go out and work for them? >> i would get behind a candidate who looks at the world not through the lens of his experience but through the lens of my experience, understanding that i came to this institution, morehouse or other students that look like me, not looking at it as one narrow mold, in understanding that although i am a black male, we are very, very diverse and come from all types of backgrounds. i would get hipped a candidate that understands the importance of having a low interest rate for my loans after college, who understands that student loan debt is as important as housing debt and medical care. i would get behind a candidate -- candidate that would lobby for me when it comes to credit cards and understand that some students have to live off credit cards in terms of meals and stuff.
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and get behind a candidate who understands it is important for him to not look just at the numbers but when it comes to public service you are dealing with people, not just basic facts, black and white, numbers on a piece of paper. i'm fully supporting a candidate that doesn't -- doesn't just believe that i am a vote but that i am the hope for this country and doesn't look at me as a charity case but as the future. >> those are good reasons. i think that if you want a pell grant, it's on the line in this election. when -- if you want to borrow money, you borrow with a mortgage, it's on the line. there are a lot of other technical reasons. but people surprised me when we said you should get out to vote, it's not just the outcome, it's who you are and what you are doing.
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the rosa parks generation preceded mine. when i came to school, this was an organization everywhere. we've reached a lull in black organizing. we don't want to be on the other side of this moment and say we did absolutely nothing. the vote is the easiest place to begin. you can do your revolution later, but if you want to start, you have to start with practice. >> he will roy did, elroy, i think you are the only person on the panel with children, is that right? >> yes. >> other than professor morris? no. \[laughter] as a person with young children, what is it you look for when you think about voting on their behalf in the next election? >> thanks for the question. as a father i am blessed and fortunate to have two people in my life, my son and my daughter, that i am responsible for them,
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for raising them, what gets on their, the type of food that gets on their plate, the tie of thoughts that go in their mind, the things that they see and hear and learn. when i begin to look at the socioeconomic structure of our society, i try to make life very, very simple. i always like to say i'm not smart enough to make things complex so i make them very, very simple and i say look, my wife's got to drive and take the kids to school. four years ago gas prices were $1.89. today, $3.70. i'm not here to market. i'm just going to gifblet facts. educate. 14 years ago my wife and i got married in detroit. i was dront -- fortunate. i worked at pizza hut after graduation morehouse and ended up finally getting a job in the governor's office. but i was able to save a little money. my brother and i went out and
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bought a fixer upper, a duplex. my wife and i moved into the upstairs. mort ganle was $675 a month. -- our mortgage was $675 a month. my objective was to use that for my college fund. my father raised me to say the only two hands you can trust are the two hands at the end of your sleeves. i used that property, today it's now worth $20,000. i paid %150,000. that's a big problem when i look at what's available for my kids. that money is not there any more and now i've got to think about another way to start saving for my daughter's college education. the home you i currently live in, seven years ago it was valued at x. the goal was to sell that house, the value, and leave that to my son so he could have a leg up but with the value of the house, i've got to now work equally as hard. so looking at housing, when i
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look at the tax structure, that we have not had major tax reform since 1986. now they're talking about the tax code, talking about getting rid of the home mortgage interest deduction. if they do that, that's a killer. secondly, when you start talking about where you live, where you eat, now where you go to school and talk about those issues, those become very, very important to me as a dad. on the social side, and i say this with love and i'm a bible reading fellow. that's just the way i was raised. but when you have a public figure who speaks for the country and they get up and make a statement about different orientations, that becomes difficult for me to talk to my son about it. my son will say, hey, the leader of the free world believes this, daddy.
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he looks like you, looks like me. how am i supposed to think about this? so you want to look for a candidate who kind of he is pouses -- espouses certain views. i want -- you want to think locally but also about the community. a lot of the people are not in the position i'm in. they may be single moms. they may not have a car, be dealing with transportation issues. but i start locally and i think about what do i need to do as a dad to raise these two kids, what do i need to keep my wife holy, healthy, happy. a happy wife is a happy life. i like to keep it very basic and practical. sometimes we can get so big with this stuff, it's discombobulated. when i was on capitol hill i thought way out here, the omnibus regulation bill. my son would say, what kind of bus are you talking about?
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i boil it down. there are a lot of great folks in washington, d.c., they work in government or the private sector. i say this respective -- respectfully but if you are a g.s. 15, probably making $140,000, if your wife is working there, probably making $200,000. if certain people want to -- have their way, want to go back to the pre-bush era tax cuts, $3,000, 4,000, that's not being pro-romney or pro-obama. it's taking money out of my table and when i go back to detroit i don't see the value of another $4,000 going back to washington. four years ago the president campaigned on hope and change, i was very excited. said we're going to end this war. we've got 33,000 more troops in
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afghanistan today than we did when they started. you telling me to stop? >> we'll get back to you. >> i try to make it personal. >> albert, you're on capitol hill. we heard a little bit of the big, broad framing from elroy a second ago about some of the economic issues. what are the democrats, you're not in an official capacity, but as someone who is informed about what's going on, what are the democrats, what are they going to do if they get back in power for four more years? >> well, it's a good question. i think you have to look at where we are now and where we've been. we've been in the middle of a campaign season over the last several months and people have a tendency in campaigns i think to get tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.
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sometimes when you hear the same thing over and over again, it's because it's true. the fact is that a lot of the financial challenges we face in this country, a lot of the policies that have resulted in job loss, in the financial collapse on wall street, that have resulted in people like my friend here seeing the value of his home plummet, were policies -- results of a policy advanced by a previous administration so the first response in answer to that big picture what the current administration wants to do and what the congress and senate wants to do in supporting the administration is be sure we establish and support policies that will be able to move the ball forward so that regular, ordinary americans are able to wake up in the morning, find a good job, support their family and live out the american dream. jamal, you asked a question a minute ago about why should people vote and i would sort of turn to folks in the room and ask a couple questions that will answer both the issues you
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raised the how many in the room are under 26 years old. raise your hands president of those folks, how many think you might get sick at some point and need to go to the hospital? not all of you. some of you are invincible. but most of you. well, we have an administration now that through at fordable care act passed health care reform and made it possible so that 2.5 million more folks like you around the country are able to stay on your parents' insurance. that's a tangible policy result. how many of you are african- americans that are familiar with or know someone who either has a drug addiction or is in jail now dealing with a drug crime? raise your hands? ok. so you may know that 20 years ago, 25 years ago during the war on drugs there was a sort of get tough on crime, get tough on drugs mentality.
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legislation passed that resulted in a 100-1 sentencing disparity for crack versus powder cocaine. well, we have an administration now that passed the fair sentencing act. what it did was reduce that disparity so that a man walking down the street with five pounds of powder cocaine is not sentenced to the same five years in prison that someone walking down the street with the equivalent of two sugar cubes of crack cocaine. we could go on and on talking about these issues but what i want to say is this. people need to be thoughtful about how an administration's policies will impact your lives on a day to day basis. folks up here are right. you have to figure out which candidate is in your corner and will fight for you. it's true there was a lot of excitement. the title of this forum, is you know, is the thrill gone among young voters?
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the yes -- question i ask is what was the thrill about? we heard chris matthews during the election saying "every time i hear barack obama speak i feel a little chill run up my leg." we heard obama girl and her 30, 40 million views on youtube and heard her talking about the crush she had on obama. but i don't think the millions why -- were engaged in the last election so she could pursue her crush on obama. the folks in this room are looking at policy, looking at how this will impact their lives. that's why it's important for folks like us to get out and vote. >> thank you for that. richard, i'm going to is ask you -- ask you to do something a little bit different. how many of you recently saw the poll that said mitt romney's support in the african-american community was roughly zero? \[laughter]
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which is very different for republicans. usually, president bush did better than many had done. republicans usually get, correct me if i'm wrong, somewhere between 6, 8, 9%, 7% of the african american vote depending on the year. so a rounding error, we have at least one person on the stage that might vote for mitt romney so let's assume it's not quite zero. what would you say if you were advising romney for the day, if you wanted to get romney to convince some african-americans to support him in his ticket? >> i think that's a great question. we've seen so much demagoguery of barack obama this whole week at the democratic -- at the republican national convention,
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sorry for the slip there. you -- i would say first, going to michigan and talking about your birth certificate, not the answer. but beyond that point, i think what the republican party has done over the past couple months is they've really tried to rustle up this undertoned "we don't like black people," and i say that nicely. i don't want to distress my republican colleague on this panel but it's true. when you make arguments about people living off the argument, about people who are waiting on their check from the government, the truth of matter is when you look at the statistics there are more caulk asians on public assistance from the government than there are black people, and beyond that when you have rick santorum in his convention speech, i think monday night he spoke, he said half of america is on government handouts -- ok. even if that number makes any logical sense, that means you are talking about grandma, getting social security or
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medicare, a disabled person getting social security or medicare to live. they make it seem as though every african-american is on some sort of public handout and that's just not true. and i remember, and jamal, you brought this up, but when i first started doing television i was on with a fox news colleague and she said "michelle and barack, they've benefited from the system," and i'm like ok. that makes sense. so did mitt romney and they have this whole mantra, "we built it," but all the programs, they benefited from government programs, from government contracts, from the small business administration. 9 fact are the facts and the fact is that this republican party has gone down the wrong path with african-americans. we don't want you to give us more handouts. we want you to help fix our problems. fix k through 12 education. we want to know how you are going to help us when they graduate from college and have mountains of debt.
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what are you going to do about it? they had the economy for eight years and they wrecked it. they let wall street have their way with the economy. people don't know this, but the student loan debt, they're cutting it up and selling it all sorts of places. when they send me the bill i tell them no and put it back in the mail. because there is no way i'm going to be able to pay off some of this debt. you don't even know where your debt belongs because they've sold it because wall street has had their way. so what i would say to mitt romney is that you cannot think that talking about prosperity and greatness is how you convince african-americans to vote for you.
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one thing is i want a plan and he does not have an answer. for the past three days they've had the media 100% of the time and still haven't presented an answer. so far the only answer is that they don't want the black guy in the white house. if that's all they want, that guy, if you take the black out of it, he's looking out for our interests. her made sure grandma had social security check and medicare and that's an issue. they're going to tell you they're cutting it when they're not cutting it. there is double speak that this party does that is beyond belief. at the end of the day, even if the economy is not going the way it needs to be, when president obama got the keys to this economy, we were at negative g.d.p.
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professor, i'm going to ask you this question because i think richard is constitutionally having trouble getting his mind into the role as a political consultant -- but over the past years, what do you think about the conservative, classical conservative or the conservative ideology that you think the republicans today could try to sell if they really were trying to go after african-american votes? >> well, i think they could do a better job sticking to the classical conservative approach. some government responsibility in business. what we are seeing today is not classical conservative in american politics. this is fairly extreme. for example, "the washington post" publication today to which i referred earlier that had responded in the republican party to the question of why, why very few or no blacks are voting for romney.
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the response among the republicans, 59% of them is -- said it's because they want to depend on government and want people to take care of their needs. that kind of attitude is not typical of the traditional republican party. >> what would the traditional republican party have said? >> it would be conservative on government spending but not one in which social issues hemmed such primacy beyond the immediate agenda. you have social issues in the platform. and by the way, platforms historically conform more to what governments do than campaign speeches. historically they end up becoming closer. this platform opposes any kind of social welfare policy beyond the most restrictive kind.
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it even threatens medicare. it, the platform threatens medicaid particularly by devolving it to the states. all these things that black americans and white americans know as essential to their lives. i can't tell you what that new conservativism would look like, but it would look closer to something that romney had done as governor than what is going on in the platform today. >> before i get to elroy, does anybody up here have any part of the republican platform or romney's ideas that you think would have resonance in the african-american community? >> prosperity and greatness. >> since elroy is outnumbered, i'm trying to set him up here. i'm going to give him a chance to give one more answer before we go back to the panelists. when we were first leaving school, i know you sent a lot of time with governor engler helping him to develop a program
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to go after african-american votes. if you were sitting next to governor romney, what would you be telling him? >> thanks for the opportunity. about six years i used to think i was outnumbered but i've grown in faith and i don't think i'm outnumbered. i'm here with my brothers and friends in christ and so forth. but the answer the brother on health care, i think the president did a wonderful job getting health care done but i tell you what, if my son is coming to me at 26 saying daddy, i want to be on your health care, no. i want that brother out there working. i'm not going to be taking pride in having him on my health care. i want -- don't want him on my health care at 26. i want him out there working,
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building his own family. and i have had the privilege to engage with the romney campaign. from a microperspective, i've said look, we've historically had four african-american cabinet positions ofe the last three-point presidency. get us back to four. i'd say if there were a supreme court nominee, give us one. i know you're going to take some heat from it, but let's get another black supreme court candidate. we had a chance to do it it once. a lot of people say well, you have a black person on the supreme court. but he's conservative. and the third thing is -- thing i'd say is we started spending $800 billion under president bush and president obama continued that stimulus package.
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unemployment was a little under 8% when we started the stimulus package. four years later, unemployment is 8.5%. so that indicates exactly what many of my brothers in the cpc have said to president obama, for various reasons it didn't happen, but if you are doing stimulus funding let's turn it to detroit and atlanta and old cities, littles do the empowerment zones, target it toward our underserved communities and communities of color. we don't have any initiatives coming out of this administration, no empowerment zones such as you saw from president clinton. we've seen none of that come out of thisstration streags. so i'd say look, if we're going to keep spending, you've got to target some money.
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that's the same message the congressional black causeous said to the president on the heeled -- heels of president bush's spending. for whatever reason that was never able to happen. catch me on the side and i'll give you my thoughts on that. i'd also advise, you know, the romney campaign on social issues. look, whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, we got to encourage life, folks. you got to encourage it. you know, there's all kind of issues surrounding, you know, a female not wanting to bring life into the world, but i think the federal government, i think as human beings we ought to be trying to encourage that.
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maybe there need to be more programs that say, if there's a pregnancy, we will help you, put a social safety net around you, more resources, but let's encourage life. let's not make it easier for that young lady who may be confused, may be tired, let's not make it easier for her to go to planned parenthood and say i can't deal with it. on the marriage issue -- i think that was the last one the anre is wanting to get in here. moderatorto exert privilege in a second. >> number one, i think with the g.o.p., special nod to my friends and colleagues in the republican party. i'm from south georgia, so working in the georgia assembly have a lot of friends who are republicans. i think we too often make it an adversarial, toxic relationship. that's not how you get your policies through, having a toxic attitude between two parties who govern all people. that's politically dangerous for african-americans to push ourselves into a corner where we can only talk to one group of people.
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to that note, if i was speaking to mitt romney and the whole republican national committee, i would say the reason why you have zero percent of african- american support is you don't depend on their votes. there is no political reason for you to necessarily cater to african-americans, so why would you design a platform for people that usually won't vote for you anyway. i would start thinking with the lens of ok, i want to cater to them, which means i actually have to get to know who they are and what we want. if you look at african- americans and say we only want more checks, more dependency on the government, then utch the wrong ideas. on the same take -- token i would say to the democratic party, do not look did, do not
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take for granted the african- american vote. the challenge will be when those african-americans sit home, that's bust -- just as bad as if they were voting for the other party. i would say to both parties, look at the african-american vote as independent and do some study and say what are the real ways we can address these concerns without looking at what has always been historically done. look at certain positions in the cabinet and supreme court, that's all fine and well, but i personally would say i don't care what the color of your skin is if you are in the cabinet or on the supreme court, do you look at me as an american and an equal american ond -- and do you take into account who i am? you could be black, white, purple, whatever. but i want you to look at me and say these are americans. not just african-americans but americans in general. and my final point, on the note of conservative values, my frustration with the republican party has been that they align conservative -- conservative values as far as religious, moral values with conservative
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policies because african- americans by and large are conservative on their views when it comes to a lot of things, but again we aren't necessarily conservative with our policies. they don't market things to our group. they don't resonate with people who look like me. i'm concerned about protecting the life of an unborn child, but i'm also concerned about the hundreds of brothers being shot in chicago and no one is shaying anything. i'm also concerned over the fact that over the past month there is -- have been so many discussions about shootings here and there but we're more concerned about protecting our right to bear guns. we want to protect the unborn, but when you get here, you're on your own. that troubles me. >> so i just want to put a
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couple fadgets -- facts on the table from what's been said earlier. when we talk about the cabinet let's keep in mind we have the first nick -- african-american attorney general, the first african-american head of the u.s. trade representative's office negotiating on behalf of the country all over and an african-american u.n. ambassador, all of which sit in the president's cabinet so we still do have african-americans in the cabinet. the other point as a factual matter, the stimulus package that was passed, went out, $800 billion, a lot went to states and localities to help them plug the budget holes. 21% of african-americans who have a job work for state, federal, or local offices. so when you are keeping state, federal, localities, cities from laying people off, you are keeping black people in those g.s. 14 jobs that we have a problem with. but the black middle class is overindexed in the government sector. i have a question for britney.
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elroy mention aid second ago -- mentioned a second ago in his first remarks. he began talking about issues around sexual orientation a gording to the gallup poll may 2012, 60% of 18 to 24-year-olds support gay marriage. do you think that will have an impact on the marriage position? >> it it would depend on what you consider the typical. the african-american community definitely has more conservative values when it comes to things that touch religion and that would have an influence on that that topic has on the yulieski gourriel vote in this election. but with that you have to look at the amount of informed voters we have.
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as an african-american community are we really going out and the researching who we are voting for? are we really voting for barack obama because he's an african- american man? i think if we asked our counterparts, i think they would say yes and because that of i don't think it will be an issue in the upcoming election. >> anybody else want to get into this asia of whether gay marriage will be an issue? >> same-sex marriage, it was a hot topic of debate and challenged some of my christian values. coming from a deeply conservative back grourned, raised in georgia, raised up in the church, and going through those debates we have on campus, on brown street at morehouse. constant debate and exchange of ideas, that's what we do at morehouse. i came to the conclusion that there is a difference between my values in the church and civil rights and the issue of having the ability to have insurance policies and tax benefits and those type of
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>> we have a survey out to all marines. you referenced in your opening comments. that will come in and answer a variety of questions that talk about women in combat and infantry. the second part is i need to get ast -- past hyperbole and tuition and instincts. i need to get facts. so we are next month, our infantry officer course where you spend 13 weeks at quantico going through difficult training, that is the standard. when asked the question about how are we going to do this?
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keep the standards the same. starting next month, we have a least two female volunteers. we only bring in 125 female officers every year. it has to be volunteers by law. two next month and maybe more. we will collect data. then see where we are. i am glad the man the comment that i am not the least bit afraid of the data. -- glad you made the comment that i am not the least bit afraid of the data. the last thing is we have a series of physical tests going on right now collecting data on certain aspects of physical strength for both male and female. that is in process. so i am optimistic. we are going to go this -- both through this thing and do it the right way. >> what has been your guidance to the female participants and
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their commanders? >> i took for instance these units that have been closed and that brought on my team with tying commanders. met with everyone of them and said listen, you need to do this thing the right way. you need to understand that i do not want anybody in your unit. predominantly all male. does to understand where we are in life today, i did not want anybody -- i said you are responsible for the climate in that unit. he said the conditions so are females can succeed. that is the guidance i gave them. i got some early intermission last week from one of the
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battalion commanders. he said they hit it out of the ballpark. my expectations are pretty high. >> how do you think young man marine infantry will feel about the female first lieutenant commander in a combat zone? >> at the adobe some anxiety. -- i think there will be some anxiety. let's gather the information, figure out where we are going. the best course of action for me to recommend to the secretary of defense. we are the world's greatest war fighting organization. i am a little bit prejudiced. change does not come easy to united states marine corps but when it does, it lasts forever. i think we will work our way through that. >> what is the status of the replacement helicopters since
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the previous replacement was cancelled due to cost overrun? >> i do not have the exact details. i know the program has been -- one is the main life, the 747, and the second one is a presidential helicopter. there has been no selection at all. there are is a series of opportunities out there. it is a clarity. i cannot tell you where it is with regards to the budget. it is not on the back burner anymore. and we need to find a replacement for the president's helicopter. >> how has the introduction of the mv 22 to okinawa affected our relationship with japan? >> the last stop on my way back from that long trip in the
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pacific was in tokyo. i spent a lot of time in japan. i have never seen the relationship between the united states and the government of japan shocker than it is today. that may seem like it is counter intuitive but i will tell you what, my sense is when that horrible earthquake followed by the tsunami and the tragedy of the nuclear reactors had, and responded's immediately. the marine corps in okinawa poised and ready and flew out the next morning without even having been asked and brought up those old 40 -- those old helicopters, that our c130's, thousands of marines to help the
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japanese, i think that's did more for the relationship between our two nations and probably anything has in decades. when i was in tokyo with the senior leadership, i cannot have been more warmly received. i think we will work our way through. we flew in there. all 12 of them are sitting out there. the are being maintained. but we are not flying them in agreement with the japanese government. the japanese center assessment team were briefed on the mishap. they got the investigation. they saw the video and they flew in the airplane. we have been completely forthright with regards about tragedy's that happened in morocco. i did the government of japan
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and people are appreciative of our honesty on the matter. the think our governments will work their way to this thing at one time is ready, will fly the airplanes. >> what is the new geography of the marine corps going to look like now that austria and qualm are being built up an okinawa is drawing down? >> secretary mineta said -- if you go to the southern part of mainland japan, we have is a the began about marines there. that is billy our tactical aviation -- that is really our tactical aviation. that is with the tactical aviation is. there are probably about 3500 marines and sailors. that would be built up a bit with the new agreement. it will draw the force down on okinawa to about 10,000.
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that is the agreement our governments have worked to. we will end up with about 5000 marines. rotational forces on guam. come at a high state of readiness, train, rotates. some of our coalition nations in the pacific. we will end up with -- the government of australia as the pacing item in how big and quickly the buildup is. but we should then up with about 2500 marines in australia. we will end up with more rains -- marines to the delight. in and around the pacific. it sends a very strong signal. >> with all the budget cuts and
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everyone screaming they have no money, why did the marine corps still not allow marines to homestead in a specific region? >> that came up about two or three weeks ago. i cannot remember how it came up. i have watched this ad and flow over my 41 years as a marine. season,.com in and say you're not like to homestead or be in a place for more than three years maximum. i have not looked at that yet. but as we look at how we live with in our means, it is probably not -- probably something i will need to look at. i am not against it. in many cases, it does make sense. you get promoted, you know logar have a swat in your unit but i do think there's some benefit to longer tours in certain
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locations. i think we can save some money with it. >> i appreciate being able to stay in one place. can you address the issue of the former navy seal who has written about the osama bin laden rate. are you concerned about the loss of classified data and the president is setting? >> i cannot speculate on that. i am reading exactly the same thing you are in the daily press. so i do not know any more about it than you do. i know a lot of seals. they do great work. i am proud as can be over what happened in the raid against osama bin laden. i bust at my scenes thinking about what an effort that was. i cannot imagine how difficult. but i cannot speak about should
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they or shouldn't stay so i will wait and see what happens with the government. >> are you at concerned that so few of our citizens and political leaders today had military experience? >> i get asked that question a lot. i remember being a youngster. there is no such thing as a former marine. in a three a marine piece suit or whatever. we did that as if everybody that had not served would not love us. and the truth is i travel around congress and clearly the majority have not. but when i walk into an office and meet with some of our members of the house and senate
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on both sides of the aisle, talk about being warmly received. people are interested. i think we are going to be just fine. maybe in some cases, it is and in vantage. it is not refreshing but i am ok with it. >> what are you doing to adjust the alarming suicide rate among our combat veterans? >> three years ago, and by the way, we have got a family member of the marines in here that has been affected by this a couple years ago. three years ago, we put a full
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press on the leadership. it was a young corporal and such as that came forward and said let us to this year it be spent no shortage of effort and put together interactive videos with real marines using the language that real marines used which surprised everybody we would put something in print like that. and the marines talked to one another in this. it was led by noncommissioned officer. the next year, the suicide rate dropped to 39% from 52%. last year it dropped to 32 $. this year we now have the same interactive video. that is what the youngsters of today, they are electronic. they learn by that. as long as you do not throw a bunch of garbage at them.
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we got it for young officers and our baby marines. brand new ones. even with the attention of the leadership, i think all the services this year are [inaudible] it is through no sordid -- shortage of great effort and leadership to try to evade this. but this year i think is going to be a tough year for all services. >> 3 marines received no criminal charges but nonjudicial commitment for urinating on the taliban bodies. why the slap on the rest? >> and was not a slap on the wrist. there are a series of articles
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of conduct unbecoming an article. one of the articles is article 15. that is where the commanding general officer has the authority to take a young marine that is -- has stepped out of line to any degree. it is the best judgment of the commander. you can bring the young man or woman into what we call article 15 nonjudicial punishment. you can award a significant amount of punishment. yesterday, the press talked- about the different things that could be awarded at nonjudicial punishment but it did not say what was awarded yesterday. i will tell the audience here and i am not really at liberty to talk about that. but it was not a slap on the rest. those three marines, in each instance is a different circumstance. each instance is a single human being that had different roles
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to play in this. so i will tell you that it was not a slap on the wrist. this is the extent i can stop -- i acan talk. there are another group of marines held accountable and that is forthcoming. general mills knows what he's doing. he understands combat marines. i have complete confidence in him. when it is all said and then, everybody will look back and say the marines did the right thing. >> will the additional soldiers the chocolate -- be charged with criminal or not criminal offenses? >> i cannot talk about that. anything i say because presumptive and people than i
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interpret that as i have to do that. so i cannot really talk about that. >> can the nonjudicial process be clear ending for marines? -- the career ending for marines? >> i do not know. in some cases, it can be. each case is different. where i am as the commandant, other than the fact that spend six months traveling around the marine corps talking about the heritage brief and combat ethics and who we are, on this matter, i purposely stayed away from it. i had otherwise i will stick my nose and the assumption the commandment -- commanded has no need. >> if this program really worth
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it? >> it is been in the press -- there was a large effort in the pacific exercise which brings it into the pacific rim countries that centers around a while a to berm biofuels on certain members -- certain numbers of the ships and airplanes. that was predominantly -- it was not a marine corps air initiative. i support the efforts for alternative fuel. we are doing a lot right now in our small piece of the world in afghanistan. not so much biofuel battery, solar, wind, natural insulation and this kind of thing. so i am a big believer in biofuels, excuse me, alternative
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fuels. and in our case, alternative energy. the biofuel it was the along the way. >> is the drawdown going to affect an number of new technology aircraft equipment purchases since not as many are required? if not, will the new equipment put into preservation data to be used in future replacement? >> i think the plan right now as we know it with the budget control act, about $487 billion, that is going to have an impact on the amount of things that we are able to buy. sequestration is really going to chase him out of things, whether the aircraft or vehicles, recapitalization.
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i do not think that to my service right now, we have not adjusted the top numbers, the programmer record. but i think probably over time, especially if sequestration hits, we will have to look at the total numbers. >> four months ago you begin a campaign to fight sexual assault in the ranks. have you seen any progress and what are the biggest challenges? >> to ever ask that question, thank you. we convened last may an operational planning team. let me explain what that means. when we were preparing to cross the border into iraq, with dual operations in afghanistan, you bring together the best minds that you have. and from a variety of different sources. and you do the planning.
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it is collaborative. that is the way we do business we are going to do something really important and very difficult and challenging. i had picked 20 marines -- officers, staff, ncos. they were all sergeants major except for one. the officers were all commanding officers led by the general just out of afghanistan. a great leader in his own right. i pulled the regimental commanders and all of these high-priced leaders from across the court and for two weeks convened a planning team to define the problem of sexual assaults in the marine corps. what is the problem? help us all to understand what ground truth is. then armed with that, how do we proceed?
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how do we turn this around? so they did that. they gave that with me when i took the second debrief from them. they came back for another two weeks in the may finished up. they developed a campaign plan to eradicate sexual assault in the marine corps. i think it is revolutionary. it is very directed. it is all inclusive. it is being led down by the senior leadership for the marine corps. i brought all the generals in. we only have 85 generals in the marine corps. bebop all of them in with the exception of about half a dozen that were deployed. we spent two days going all -- going over all the data and information, and to do is the camp camp -- the campaign plan. so now we have the campaign
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plan, we have the class is going on and guess who is in the class is? it is not some young 21-year-old corporal. it is the general officers, the sergeant major. so we need to have that from the very top. i think we have got that. where are we headed? we are headed to zero. will we get there? i do not know. we are a part of society. this is probably one of the most challenging things i have to deal with as a service person. but i will tell you more, i only have 13,700 females out of to let a thousand males. are two of the thousand total. so i have a small slice. but i look every single male marine in the eye that i could and i said you need to understand that my females are just as important to me as my mills are.
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i think they believe me. right now they believe me. so this is a fight. this is not going to be one of this year -- won th8is year -- this year. i am determined we are going to do something about this thing. one of the things that has to happen, the mills have to be confident enough in leadership. -- the females half to be confident enough in leadership. and confidence to come forward when something has happened. to not be afraid of some type of recompense for being dragged through the facts publicly. they need to be able to come so that is what we're trying to do. this is a personal thing with me. we intend to turn it around in the marine corps. [applause] >> of those 85 generals, how many are female?
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>> goodness. probably four. i think for. >> do you think i have a more females in senior officer position will help change the culture of the marine corps? >> i do not think there is any question about it. i think it absolutely will permit the ones we've got -- absolutely will. the ones we've got, we have young general down at parris island. the very first female. all e-mails in year ago holy smokes. we train young recruits there. it is the most storied recruit depot in all of the united states. nobody puts out a tougher
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product. we have a young female brigadier-general selected last year in charge of it. she is hitting it out of the ballpark. >> have you been able to main